If you have decided that you want to try dental implants as an alternative to dentures or plates, then your dentist might ask you to have a CT scan before you start the process. CT scans can help the dentist to see the layers of tissue in your mouth, and will give them a much clearer image than that offered by x-rays. The CT scan is simple and easy to do, and there are several reasons why your dentist might consider having a scan the next step in getting the implants you need.
Why should I have a CT scan?
Before you decided to have dental implants, your dentist may have taken several images of your mouth with an x-ray. Although the traditional dental x-ray will reveal a lot about your mouth, the dentist will not be able to see the mouths tissue and nerve structure. The other thing an x-ray is unable to show is the amount of bone and bone density of the jaw. CT scans are very important in establishing that you have enough width of bone to successfully place dental implants. Without the CT scan, you may not be able to have the implants because the dentist won’t be able to work out exactly how much bone you have left. Good bone quality, including width and height, is vital for a successful implant, and the best way of finding this information is through a CT scan.
What other reasons are there for using the CT scan?
Although bone quality is the most important reason to get a CT scan, the dentist may also want to check your general health, and to ensure that your mouth is in good order. CT scans show off the jaw pathology of both upper and lower jaw. They can help to determine whether your bones have any other conditions which might make the implants more difficult to place successfully.
The CT scan will also help the dentist to measure the level of the implant by showing your alveolar crest, and how that relates to other tissue structures in the mouth. Your dentist will have more options for fitting sites, in order to get a good angle and prevent damage to your jaw and surrounding tissues. Scans also show the maxillary sinus, which can cause problems with dental fitting positioning. This may tell the dentist that you need a sinus lift to reposition this bone.