Orthodontic records, CBCT analysis and treatment planning allow orthodontists to diagnose and treat a patient properly. The initial examination allows the doctor to determine the need for braces and other orthodontia. Detailed records are necessary to customize the treatment for the patient.
Gathering information from dental impressions, x-rays, cone beam CTs and cephalometric analyses helps orthodontists and dentists gain information that isn’t accessible during a visual examination. Using technology allows practitioners to work together to come up with the best plan for each individual.
Modern technology has simplified the process of obtaining and evaluating a patient’s mouth. Dental impressions are often the first step in developing a treatment plan using orthodontic appliances. Traditionally, a mould was made using an alginate impression. The model made from this mould is an exact duplicate of the patient’s mouth. Orthodontists use this to view the current state of the teeth and predict future positioning.
Many patients find this process uncomfortable and even slightly nauseating. Digital imaging software makes capturing dental impressions painless and hassle-free.
With 3D imaging, orthodontists and dentists can scan the teeth using a special wand. The angles of the teeth are recorded and pieced together using the software. This creates a digital model of the teeth that can be analyzed and edited without the need for a physical impression.
Panoramic and cephalometric x-rays are taken to get a better look at the patient’s teeth and jaw. A panoramic x-ray lets the doctor see the entire jaw bone and joints. It also provides an image of teeth roots as well as impacted or missing teeth.
Taking a panoramic x-ray during adolescence helps orthodontists predict the final position of teeth that are still developing. It also lets practitioners see the health of the teeth and jaw.
Cephalometric x-rays capture a profile view of the patient. These images show the teeth, the bones and the soft tissues. They help orthodontists get a sense of the way that treatment may alter the structure of the jaw.
Ceph tracing used to be done with x-ray films and tracing paper. Practitioners would make a note of the key landmarks manually. Now, comprehensive digital imaging software reduces the time that it takes to evaluate cephalometric x-rays.
You can use the software to superimpose images or create customized analyses that give you the best insight into a patient’s images. Because the software stores all of the images, you can track a patient’s progression without sifting through thick files.
Cone beam CT, or CBCT, is another crucial step for getting a complete view of the mouth. In contrast with x-rays, CBCT provides a 3D image of the teeth and jaw. This gives a practitioner a better idea of spatial relationships.
It also simplifies the time that you take to create and analyze images. One CBCT image may include the standard cephalometric and panoramic views as well as other angles. Use your digital imaging software to keep all of the images with your patient’s record to consolidate filing systems and treatment plans.