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, these x-rays could potentially save your life. Dentists can use them to plan and even practice implant surgery so the patient ends up spending less time in the chair. Three-dimensional x-rays can see into the sinus cavity, the airway in the throat, and even inside the bone.
William Davidson, D.D.M., says, "This will detect oral cancer or cysts when they're in the bone. The more information we have, the better it is. Two dimensions has served us well, but three dimensions will serve us better."
This new technology costs a little more than a normal x-ray. The 3-D scan costs about $350 compared to $150 for traditional pictures at the dentist. Dr. Davidson says that while it does give off slightly more radiation than the traditional dental x-ray, it is still less than a cat scan. It is not routine in dental offices yet, but Dr. Davidson says he believes that someday it will be the standard in dental care.