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3D X-Rays in orthodontics are a game changer. Lingual braces represent the next iteration of orthodontic technology. Lingual is a word that literally means “near the tongue.” In orthodontic care, lingual translates to mean “invisible.”
Invisible created from 3D Images
These invisible braces can treat all of the same types of alignment, bite and jaw issues that traditional hardware treats. The only difference is it is in “stealth mode!” This feature makes this type of orthodontic treatment preferred for teens and adults alike as well as for any patient with concerns about how having orthodontic treatment may impact their school and work activities.
Today’s cutting-edge orthodontic treatment uses 3D X-rays to shorten treatment times and dramatically improve treatment results. However, the technology alone is not sufficient to achieve these results. Your choice of orthodontic professional together with the superior benefits of 3D X-rays is what can deliver game-changing treatment results.
3D X-Ray Versus 2D X-Ray: What Is the Real Difference?
The difference between viewing a 2D X-ray and a 3D X-ray can profoundly impact the treatment approach in a number of key ways. As the name suggests, 3D X-ray machines provide an enhanced view of a patient’s mouth, teeth and jaw structure.
Instead of the 2D (flat, two-dimensional) view from old school X-rays, 3D X-rays provide a living three-dimensional view of every structure inside your mouth! Most importantly, instead of being relegated to viewing your mouth in small snapshots, 3D shows your orthodontist your entire mouth structure in a single real-time glance.
With 3D viewing capabilities, your orthodontic professional can identify areas of concern that include events going on beneath the surface of your jaw and gum line, such as impacted or un-erupted teeth, tooth spacing and crowding, bone loss and root infection and other concerns that can impact treatment times and success.
3D X-rays Reduce the Known Dangers of X-Rays
Few patients today get excited by the news that they need to have X-rays done. X-rays have a number of known dangers that are concerning to parents and patients of all ages. While it is not currently possible to completely eliminate every single concern associated with X-ray use, 3D X-rays can also reduce the amount of radiation a patient is exposed to during the imaging process.
Specifically, instead of many different X-ray images being taken one after the other, it is now possible to take a single 3-D scan using low dose imaging machines which can reduce radiation exposure by nearly 80 percent! This makes managing the known dangers of X-rays for all patients, and especially for young and pregnant patients, that much easier without having to potentially compromise treatment results to avoid radiation exposure.
Additional 3D Orthodontic Benefits
3D X-rays also make several other formerly unpleasant parts of orthodontic treatment fast and easy!
No more mouth molds!
For many patients, having mouth molds made is one of the least-fun parts of going to the orthodontist. No one really likes to bite down into that slimy, chilly gel. Moreover, no one likes having to clean off all the little clinging pieces left over after the mold is removed!
With 3D X-rays, it is now possible for your orthodontist to make digital molds for your orthodontic hardware with a simple mouth scan. Then the molds can be created without ever once having to put those hard, sharp-edged films inside your mouth.
Quick as a flash.
Because there is no need to place and reposition X-ray films inside the mouth, 3D X-rays can be done in a fraction of the time it used to take to take a full set of flat or 2D X-ray films. This can be especially wonderful if you have a young, fidgety patient in the chair!
Because you don’t need as many X-rays with 3D films and the materials and developing cost is minimal. This often makes the overall cost less.
Zero margins for error.
There is also far less room for error with fittings. Since the 3D scan captures a single, perfect snapshot and there is no fidgeting or wiggling that was often present when making the physical gel molds.
Less need to visit the orthodontist.
The availability of 3D orthodontia has also made maintenance appointments for braces or aligners that much simpler. In the hands of a skilled and experienced orthodontic professional, 3D modeling can plan out an entire course of treatment in advance, factoring in the impact of the tiniest movement on the entire structure of the mouth, teeth, gums, roots and bone. This reduces the time spent in the office and in the orthodontist’s chair.
Portability of records.
Another powerful benefit that comes along with the use of 3D X-rays is portability and permanence. X-ray scans are stored digitally, following the patient wherever you go. Great if the time comes when your orthodontist needs to work with a team of other specialists on your care. There is also no risk of loss or degradation over time the way there often was with the old paper and cardboard mounted X-ray slides!
The process is high-tech and cool!
Finally, where it was often a chore to get younger or fearful patients into the chair (let alone to sit still), the 3-D technology is really cool! The machine rotates around the head and the resulting image is fascinating.
This is the first time in history when you can see a photo of your entire mouth,. Including the stuff you could never see beneath your gum line, with a single snap of a digital camera. Below is an example of 3D X-Rays machine.
Be Sure to Request 3-D
When you are selecting an orthodontic professional to treat your own orthodontic concerns or those of a child, it is important to realize that X-rays will be a necessary part of the treatment process. 3D X-rays are safer, faster, cheaper, comfier and simply better in helping to plan the most effective treatment strategy.
Be sure to ask any ELOS professional you consider working with for 3D X-rays to help plan your treatment! All of our professionals use state-of-the-art equipment and have top-of-the-line training in all aspects of X-Ray and orthodontics. FIND a member HERE.
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3-D X-Rays in Orthodontics (Are a Game Changer)
I feel very fortunate to have found a profession as rewarding as the field of Orthodontics! For over ten years, I have enjoyed creating custom, beautiful smiles for our family of patients. You can even find some of our loyal patients across the country and abroad!