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CBCT your way to implant success – Cheryl Hayes Carestream Dental

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  Posted by: The Probe      28th January 2019

As is true for every healthcare professional, dental practitioners cannot treat what they can’t see. Good visualisation of the problem presented by each patient and precise information on the existing anatomy are both essential for successful treatment, regardless of the type of dentistry required.

For dental implant therapy, diagnostic imaging has become especially important as accurate planning is vital for successful long-term outcomes. Associated technologies have therefore evolved considerably over the past decade or so, with an array of imaging systems now available that deliver the minute details needed to ensure safe, effective and predictable care for a wide range of patients.

Types of imaging

As you will know, there is a range of imaging solutions widely available on the dental market today, including panoramic, cephalometric, CT and CBCT. Every modality offers different advantages and disadvantages, with each being suitable for different cases and ideal for use at various stages during the treatment process. The decision to use one over the other, or even a combination of techniques, depends on several factors such as cost, availability, amount of and need for radiation exposure, as well as the patient’s anatomy, with the clinician always looking to minimise potential risks for the patient.[1]Assessment of each individual case and selection of the most appropriate imaging modality is therefore important for the best results.[2]

Confirming appropriate treatment

The objective of imaging – regardless of the problem suspected or type of imaging used – is to determine the most effective treatment for the patient. With regards to dental implantology, the images generated help to establish whether the patient can tolerate treatment in the first place. These images provide the information needed to select the best location for the implant(s), avoiding vital anatomical structures like nerves and the maxillary sinus. They also same images enable practitioners to identify the most appropriate implant position, angle, length and width.

Prosthetically-driven planning

Effective imaging also helps to ensure the correct position of the abutment and prosthesis, while playing a role in the monitoring of post-operative healing and on-going maintenance.[3]In fact, there has been a move towards prosthetically-driven implant treatment planning of late, whereby clinicians consider the final prosthesis position and shape first, before planning implant placement accordingly. This ensures sufficient support for the desired prosthesis and allows clinicians to deliver the ideal function and aesthetics for the patient.


In response to the increased demands placed on dental imaging solutions, CBCT machines continue to grow in popularity. Their high accuracy and relatively low radiation dose compared to other imaging methods are believed to have contributed to their rising favour,[4]giving practitioners all the information they need to diagnose and plan implant treatment safely and predictably.

CBCT imaging makes flapless implant surgery more viable, enabling clinicians to utilise less invasive intervention with the potential benefits of shorter treatment time, improved patient comfort and preserved soft tissue profiles.[5]CBCT images are also exported as DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communication in Medicine) files, which facilitate patient identification and can be reliably reported on aid compliance with GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations).

Equipment selection

Finding the right equipment for your practice is crucial in order to ensure you have the tools you need to deliver effective implant treatment for your patients. A balance between sophisticated technology and simple user interactions will help enhance diagnostics and treatment planning while still facilitating a simple workflow for the dental team. In turn, treatment and surgery times can be optimised, patient chair time minimised and satisfaction of both patient and practitioner improved. With the latest technologies on the market, all this can be achieved without compromising the quality of imaging produced or the standard of treatment delivered.

Versatility of the equipment should also be considered according to the practice’s most common applications. For example, if you offer a variety of treatments, having the ability to easily switch between panoramic and 3D imaging could be useful.

The CS 8100 3D and CS 8100SC 3D imaging units from Carestream Dental offer this benefit. With panoramic and 3D capabilities as standard and the option of adding a cephalometric imaging module, these systems provide highly accurate scanning from all angles, with an adaptable design to suit standing and sitting patients and a compact casing to fit in any practice.

It’s clear that digital imaging has become essential for safe and predictable diagnostics and treatment planning, particularly in dental implantology. Making use of the many benefits available by investing in the right system for your practice is the first step in delivering outstanding quality of care to all your patients.

For more information please contact Carestream Dental on

0800 169 9692 or visit

For all the latest news and updates, follow us on Twitter @CarestreamDentl and Facebook



[1]Jayadevappa BS, Kodhandarama GS, Santosh SV, Rashid WT. Imaging of dental implants. J Oral Health Res. 2010;1:50–61.

[2]Nagarajan A, Perumalsamy R, Thyagarajan R, Namasivayam A. Diagnostic Imaging for Dental Implant Therapy. Journal of Clinical Imaging Science. 2014;4(Suppl 2):4. doi:10.4103/2156-7514.143440.

[3]Gupta S, Patil N, Solanki J, Singh R, Laller S. Oral Implant Imaging: A Review. The Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences : MJMS. 2015;22(3):7-17.

[4]Gupta J, Ali SP. Cone beam computed tomography in oral implants. National Journal of Maxillofacial Surgery. 2013;4(1):2-6. doi:10.4103/0975-5950.117811.

[5]Ravindran DM, Sudhakar U, Ramakrishnan T, Ambalavanan N. The efficacy of flapless implant surgery on soft-tissue profile comparing immediate loading implants to delayed loading implants: A comparative clinical study. Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology. 2010;14(4):245-251. doi:10.4103/0972-124X.76930.

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