The use of dental implants has dramatically increased over the last twenty years. It is estimated that over 300,000 dental implants are placed each year. These implants are helping patients eat, speak, and smile naturally. To determine if you are a candidate your dental professional will probably order a CT scan. This high resolution imaging is an invaluable part of the dental implantation process.
One of the most important components of an implants success is the quality of the bone. CT scans can determine the shape and density of the bone. The more bone present the better the prognosis of long-term success. If it is determined that there is not adequate bone to support an implant bone grafting may be an alternative.
CT scans are an excellent tool for diagnosing pathologic conditions of the jaw. Conventional dental films such as a panorex can be used for basic screening; however CT scans can provide a much more detailed image for detection or exclusion of pathologic conditions.
CT scans can help your dentist preoperatively plan implant placement by providing precise measurements of the alveolar crest and the relation of surrounding structures. These measurements can provide multiple options for implant sites, directions, and angles and prevent injury of anatomic structures. Implant placement is crucial to prevent early implant loss and other complications.
Location of Maxillary Sinus
The location of the sinus cavity can pose issues for dental implant treatment due to the close proximity of the maxillary sinus cavity. On occasion, a sinus lift is needed to increase the height of the maxillary bone for secure implant placement. CT scans pin point the exact location of the maxillary sinus ensuring successful implantation.