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    The future will be in 3D

    How CBCT scanners like the Planmeca ProMax 3D Mid are changing the way orthodontists practice.

    Let’s pretend for a minute that for the last 40 years, within the specialty of orthodontics, we had routinely used only 3D radiography to diagnose and treat our orthodontic patients.

    However, during this time period a new technology was introduced that would allow clinicians to image our patients in a very clear 2D imagery, but this new 2D technology delivered more ionized radiation than the existing 3D radiography. Do you really believe the specialty would embrace this new technology? We would say, “Are you kidding me—look at our patients in 2D? No thanks.” We would bypass this “new” technology and continue to diagnose and treat in 3D.

    Related article: How embracing digital dentistry opens up possibilities

    Why? Because with 3D we see more, know more and do more. The quality of care with 3D is simply better. The records that orthodontists are taking to diagnose and treat their patients are changing. The advent of the CBCT was intriguing to most of us 10 years ago. But those who have embraced the new technology are just now beginning to see how it changes our diagnoses and the treatment of our patients.

    In our profession, quality care is directly correlated to a proper diagnosis, as well as the formulation of a detailed treatment plan. Treating orthodontic patients quickly also has a direct correlation with a thorough diagnosis and a detailed treatment plan. These are directly related to the quality of the records taken to formulate this diagnosis and detailed treatment plan. Orthodontists have changed the way we take records in orthodontic residency programs, and we are also changing the levels of ionized radiation that we are delivering to our patients.

    Related article: How to transform a dental practice from low-tech to high-tech

    Up next: What the 3D future means for you and your patients

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