If you happen to be a dentist with experience in being able to use a CBCT scanner then you should already know by now the crucial role that it can play when it comes to dental reconstruction. The data and information that you are able to get out of the CBCT scanner are very important so that you can work beforehand on the decisive planning process of dental implants creation such as proper spacing and congruence. The 3D imaging system that a CBCT scanner can provide is definitely a big leap for dental technology.
As a dentist myself, I take advantage of the i-CAT 3D imaging system a lot. I once faced this unique case wherein my patient was suffering from ameloblastomas from an FMX. Even though the patient wasn’t suffering from any form of symptoms at that time, but we already have decided to treat the dental problem before it gets any worse. A different oral surgeon had already resected a part of his mandible that goes beyond the mesial tooth 18 up to 27 with the remaining intact portions of the jaw supported by a metal bar. In a different surgery, he had his jaw reconstructed by using a rib and a bone marrow taken from his hip. The following surgeries thoroughly removed the ameloblastomas but the problem is that his appearance and the proper function of his mouth and teeth has become a problem. Having no set of teeth in the mandible area had his lower left side of the face flattened and unable to chew solids. The patient used to be a jolly person who is active in sports and other social activities but his deteriorated look gave him a lot of insecurities that he can no longer do the things that he used to love to do.
How CBCT Scans Helped with a Surgical Procedure?
This is where I can use my expertise on this patient. He has asked me to repair his look via a cosmetic dental surgery. With 2D imaging alone, I cannot be able to achieve a level of surgical predictability unlike with data from CBCT scans. Initially, I thought of focusing on the buccal perspective of his teeth but scans showed that I would have pushed them too far to the cheek and lip if I pushed through with the traditional crown and bridge approach. The i-CAT 3D imaging system really helped me avoid a disaster if I pursued my initial plan. So I went back to the lab and worked on custom castings and implant framework that could work better when it comes to aesthetics and physical appearance. I also created a removable appliance that could function as the tissue that was removed during his past oral surgeries. This appliance will help him chew and regain the posture that he lost in the lower left cheek area.
The planning alone took months for me to construct but after the plan has been finalized the surgery took only a couple of sessions to do. With all the factors tightly considered, the surgery pushed through along with my fears that the operation would not end up as I had planned on paper. After all the treatments were done, the physical appearance of the patient was almost restored back to his original look but this was only half the success since I was still worried of the function of his implants and artificial tissues on that side of his mouth. Fortunately, all went well and finally he was able to eat and chew normally on that left side.
Ever since then, I no longer push through oral surgeries and operations without consulting CBCT scans for my own benefit. This dental technology forever changed my approach towards my practice in dentistry. Some people can say that I rely too much on such technology but you cannot just count out the wonderful results that it can give me as a professional dentist. Never will I again be caught off guard with anatomical anomalies and unpredictable clinical results. I am now more than humbled to approach my patients’ cases with cautiousness and accuracy for assured positive results.