New technology could take some of the fear out of going to the dentist. It allows doctors to get a better look inside the mouth, without making the patient uncomfortable.
It's a new dental imaging system called the I-Cat, and only available at a handful of places nationwide right now. The I-Cat is a scanner that moves around the patient in about 30 seconds. So, the patient just sits like they would for a normal x-ray, but this scanner uses about 1/10th of the radiation of a regular scan. The result: a 3-D view of the mouth, face and jaw, so doctors and technicians can precisely measure bone thickness and carefully diagnose dental and jaw trouble by studying pictures frame by frame.
"And what this allows us to do is to save the patient time, save the patient money, save the patient some unpleasant procedures that they might not necessarily have to do," says Dr. R.W. Emergy, DDS.
With the I-Cat, the dentist can manipulate a 3-D model of the scan and even place dental implants into the picture to virtually see how surgery will likely turn out. This one is newly installed in Washington, we'll let you know if an area dentist brings the I-Cat to an office on the South Plains.