This is Dr. Antolak from We are at 22 mile and Hayes in Shelby Twp., Michigan right on the border of Macomb Twp Michigan.

I wanted to discuss some pretty interesting things we’ve been using for years but it becomes very kind of new to people who were not aware of the technology that’s out there.

That is the cone beam CAT scan. The problem is CAT scan implies there’s a lot of radiation that comes along with the three dimensional image. This for example is basically a three dimensional panoramic x-ray. The radiation on something like this is so very low. It’s about equivalent to taking a set of X-rays. It’s even less than taking a set of regular X-rays and the information that we can glean from it is pretty incredible.

It gives us the ability to look three dimensionally at a patient chart and it gives us the ability to virtually place dental implants. For example, in this patient here, we put a virtual implant inside there and I actually mapped out were the nerve is.

This type of technology offers many benefits. For example, when we want to look and see the different levels and angles of the way teeth are and the way that the jawbone is, we can see the cross-sectional view of an arch. We can see all of the anatomy and things like that.

Also, with this type of software, we’re able to use that and then send information, so we can create what you’d call surgical guides. Surgical guides are little devices that snap over the teeth and allow us to be very accurate with the placement of the little hole where the implant would normally fit and function.

This is the type of technology that is necessary especially when diagnosing the treatment planning for implants. There are basically some areas for concern when we do look at that. The most area of concern on the lower jaw, is the fact that there’s a nerve, that we highlighted here in the red.

This nerve actually gives sensation to your lip and your teeth. And when we place an implant it has to be plenty clear of that or we risk the chance of having some numbness in the lip, or something called paresthesia.

The cone beam CAT scan also gives us the ability to find out where the sinus cavities are. So for example, on your top left side, we can see where the teeth are right here in this region. Now we’re going straight up, as we can see by this little line here and once we get there, we can see three dimensionally and we can start seeing the sinuses.

So you see these little dots here? Those are actually the sinus cavities that are in the upper jaw. When teeth are lost the sinus cavities actually start getting larger, which can create some problems with placement and size of implants.

So this type of technology is wonderful because it obviously provides a lot of information. It helps us to stay away from vital structures that could create real issues and problems in the future. This is the type of thing that you can expect at our office. We use this technology for implant placement and also for doing wisdom teeth extractions and the sort.

Contact Dr. Antolak, a Shelby Twp Dentist

If you’d like to be part of this type of technology and learn more about our Shelby Township Dental office. Our office phone number is 586-247-3500.