CT scanners have been around for a long time but the original scanners found in hospital generate a huge amount of radiation and can take several minutes to complete a scan. They were also very expensive with a scan often being charged at £ 500 +. They work by revolving the x-ray head many times around a perfectly still patient to create a whole series of slices. A bit like a sliced loaf of bread. Each slice can then be put back together by the computer to generate a 3 dimension image. The radiation dose was such that they were only used in complex implant cases.Then the cone beam CT scanner or CBCT was developed especially for scanning the head. These machines now expose you to approximately double the radiation that a normal large Dental OPT radiograph would, making them much safer. The scan is often completed in less than 15 seconds so can be completed sitting or standing up unlike the hospital scanners where you were often secured lying down to avoid any movement. You still need to keep very still when having a CT scan taken and remove any metal objects from around you head and neck like earrings, necklaces, tongue studs and dentures. These will interfere with the scan an make then less accurate.
Why does your dentist want to take a CT scan? We mostly take them for implant treatment as it allows us to accurately measure the height, width and depth of bone available for placement of a dental implant. Generally the bigger the better up to a point but before the CBCT scanner there would be an element of guess work and then selecting an implant a size or too smaller to be safe. Implant surgery was then slower as we had to slowly and carefully feel our way whilst drilling to prevent hitting anything that we should not like nerves or blood vessels. Now we know what to expect and where to find it, more accurate treatment plans can created and delivered successfully.
With the latest CBCT machines like our Sirona XG3D we can also select the area we wish to scan and so further reduce the radiation dose. The radiation dose now is now so low we scan all but the simplest of cases to ensure that no nasty surprises are encounter and patients are not disappointed when they are told that surgery has to be abandoned because of insufficient bone for example. The CBCT is also of use when assessing the removal of wisdom teeth, buried teeth for braces and occasionally when assessing retreatments of failed root canal work.
We take referrals for CT scans and Dental Implants from dentists within Lincolnshire with a same day scanning service during normal surgery hours. If you are having dental implant treatment and your dentist has not got a CT scan then perhaps you should ask why? To my knowledge there has never been a case of a dentist being found negligent for taking a CT scan, but there are plenty of cases where implant treatments have gone wrong where the dentist has not got a CT scan and has been found wanting.
At the time of writing CBCT scans are £225 or if you are looking for someone to provide you with affordable dental implant treatment then we offer a free initial implant consultation and charge just £225 for relevant radiographs including a CT Scan. Our Dental Implant treatments start from £1699 for a single back tooth and ceramic crown, £2799 for 2 implants to secure a loose lower denture or £8499 for an All on 4, Same Day Smile type treatment. We may not be the cheapest but we believe that we offer some of the most competitive priced dental implant treatment in Lincolnshire. Furthermore your treatment is provided by an experienced team lead by Colin Sutton who has over 12 years experience of placing and restoring dental implants in Grantham.