Dentistry Goes 3-D

The world of dentistry is going three-dimensional.

X-rays now have the ability to show a dentist much more than just your teeth.

In fact, an x-ray could potentially save your life.

Jodie Zahler recently had a tooth extracted.

The new x-ray will tell her dentist if she's healing properly.

Dentist, Dr. William Davidson said, "This technology gives us information that we wouldn't see in a normal examination."

The x-ray shows Jodie she has a chronic sinus condition.

"It's very nice to see exactly what's going on with you and understand it and see it in 3-d. You definitely don't question it when you see the picture," said Zahler.
Three-dimensional x-rays are the future of dentistry.

Doctor Davidson can plan and practice implant surgery so his patient spends less time in the chair.

"Once we've placed it here virtually, we can order a guide, a surgical guide that will allow us to place it in the exact same position within tenths of a millimeter of accuracy," said Davidson.
While it does give off slightly more radiation than the traditional dental x-ray, it's less than a cat scan.

"So a catscan at a hospital that would cost $800. to $1,000. we can duplicate the information here at a much more reasonable fee at a much lower radiation dose," Davidson said.
The three-d scan costs around $350. Compared to $150. for the normal x-ray.

While it's not used on a routine basis, it's priceless for complex cases and potentially deadly problems.

Davidson said, "This will detect oral cancer or cysts when they're in the bone. The more information we have, the better it is. Two dimension has served us well but three dimensions will serve us better."

Three dimensional x-ray can see the sinus cavity, the airway in the throat and inside the bone.

Doctor Davidson believes they will someday be the standard in dental care.