Dental imaging and the diagnostic process

X-rays and Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) Imaging

Smiles Peru uses traditional 2D x-ray equipment during the initial consultation phase of treatment.  For particular cases, more detailed imagery may be desirable, in which case a 3D Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) scan will be taken here in our clinic.  2D digital radiography equipment like 3D digital tomography equipment today plays a very important role in dental practice, helping us to establish an accurate diagnosis of injuries, exact position of teeth, diseases, structures adjacent to the teeth and the complete 3D reconstruction of the oral cavity of each patient, before, during and after dental treatment.

Smiles Peru has a complete radiological center that includes periapical digital radiography equipment, 2D panoramic radiography equipment and 3D tomography equipment. All of this equipment is state-of-the-art, using digital imagery and software.  Digital imaging reducing patient radiation exposure by roughly 90%.  We have all the protection measures for our patients when taking x-rays or tomography, including the use of a lead vest and collar. Likewise, all the walls of our radiological center have lead coverage for the complete protection of the patients and staff.



Digital Periapical X-rays

Periapical x-rays are currently taken using digital intraoral sensors, generating digital images seen on a computer, allowing us a lower dose of radiation for the patient, higher image resolution, with multiple options for measurement and contrast, as well as facilitating a much faster process in general.

Digital periapical radiographs are a support tool used very frequently in daily dental practice to be able to observe and analyze a specific area with high-contrast software for a better visualization of the structures.  The accompanying software includes measurement tools to obtain more accurate measurements from the imagea. In these radiographs we closely observe the entire dental piece evaluated, where we can see the crown, root, apex, the surrounding bone tissue and periodontal space in order to diagnose possible conditions not visible to the naked eye, with the objective of providing a quick and timely solution to avoid future complications.

Periapical radiographs are used for the different specialties:

In periodontics to see if there is bone loss, periodontal pockets, calculus between the teeth and under the gums.
In endodontics to verify the process and evolution of the endodontic treatment, at the beginning, during and after the treatment.
To diagnose the depth of dental caries.
In the diagnosis of interproximal and root caries, which upon simple clinical evaluation are very difficult to diagnose.
In the evaluation of periapical lesions, around the tooth or in the surrounding bone.

Panoramic X-rays

Panoramic x-rays show the entire oral cavity, providing us a complete image of all the dental pieces of the patient, in which we can visualize the bone structures of the jaws, the jaw joint and the teeth in their entirety. This type of radiography is a very important diagnostic tool as it provides invaluable information for a comprehensive comprehensive assessment of the patient’s dental, jaw, and joint health. The recommendation is that all patients undergo a panoramic radiograph per year to be evaluated by a dentist during the annual preventive consultation.

Panoramic x-rays can also reveal the presence of dental and medical problems such as:

  • Confirm the position of the teeth in relation to their counterparts.
  • Detect periodontal disease.
  • Detect the presence of abscesses, cysts and / or tumors in the jaws.
  • Detect the presence of impacted teeth, including wisdom teeth.
  • Detect temporomandibular joint diseases – TMJ.
  • Abnormalities or growth problems of the maxillary and mandibular bone.
  • Perceiving defects in dental occlusion that are causing the malocclusion.
  • Detect the state of both maxillary sinuses.

Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT)

Cone beam 3D dental computed tomography is a three-dimensional reconstruction of the entire patient’s mouth, as well as the jaws and all facial structures. Dental tomography is very useful in situations where a panoramic or periapical radiography is not sufficient for the correct evaluation.  Conical beam 3D dental computed tomography generates 3D three-dimensional images and multiplanar cuts vertically, coronally and axially of dental structures, soft tissues, nerves, and bones of the craniofacial region. These images obtained with 3D tomography allow us more precise dental treatments.

3D tomographic imaging is essential in the virtual planning for dental implant placement, where the preparation of surgical guides for the placement of dental implants enables highly precise placement.  3D computed dental tomography is a very useful tool various situations, for example:

  • Planning for dental implant surgery.
  • Control of dental implants post surgery.
  • Planning of third molar surgeries.
  • Planning for surgery of impacted teeth.
  • Orthognathic surgery planning.
  • Detect fractures of the jaws or teeth.
  • Assess periodontal problems such as bone loss.
  • Diagnosis of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).
  • Detect and view the total extent of dental abscesses, cysts, and dental tumors.
  • Evaluation of the jaws, paranasal sinuses, nerve channels and nasal cavity.
  • Detection, measurement and treatment of tumors in the jaws.
  • Determination of bone structure and orientation of teeth.
  • Location of the origin of pain or pathology.
  • Cephalometric analysis for orthodontics.
  • Root curvature evaluation for endodontics.

CBCT imaging is indispensable for the virtual placement of dental implants for surgical planning

All these 2-D and 3D radiographic diagnostic means are an essential tool for the daily practice of dentistry. At SMILES PERU we have all the 2D radiography and 3D tomography equipment within our facilities, which allows us to facilitate the work of our specialist dentists, making it faster, more effective and offering our patients instant tomographic evaluation, facilitating speed in the diagnosis of dental treatments.

All digital radiographic and tomographic means are intended to provide our patients with a more accurate and complete diagnosis; In this way, we can carry out the best and most suitable treatment plan, which allows us to be effective and efficient in all our treatments.

May 13, 2020 Blog, Dental Implants
About Smiles Peru

Smiles Peru is a leading full service dentist located in the Lima’s Miraflores District specializing in complex dental implants cases, including the all-on-four and all-on-six dental implant techniques.