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Dentists’ scanner creates 3-D pictures

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Friday, June 22, 2012

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A DENTAL practice in Newquay claims to be the first in Cornwall to install a low- dose CT scanner, allowing dentists to pinpoint spots in the jaw for implants.

The high-tech equipment installed at Atlantic Dental on Edgcumbe Avenue is also used as a diagnostic tool, spotting root canal problems or compacted teeth.

Dr Peer Nelz said the main use of the new CBCT (cone beam computer tomography) device would be in fitting dental implants.

Unlike conventional X-rays, CT images are in 3-D and allow dentists to identify more easily the best places in the jaw in which to secure implants.

“Now we have the low-dose scanner, this enables us to check exactly where dental implants can be placed, minimising the risk for the patient and shortening the surgical procedure,” he said.

“We place the implants virtually on the computer and send the plan to a company in Belgium which produces a ‘surgical guide’.

“Using that guide we can place implants very precisely, and fit teeth immediately after the implant placement.

“A CT scan is also useful for other diagnostic purposes: orthodontics, removal of impacted teeth, root canal treatments and TMJ (temporo-mandibular joint) problems.

“Atlantic Dental will be offering a referral service for other dental practices in Cornwall who would usually refer their patients to a hospital or dental clinic.”