CT scans Versus an OPG

“Do I need a CT scan?” we get asked this question a lot. What the dentist can see on a CT scan impacts on patient treatment. An OPG is a basic 2D x-ray (a flat image) and is used for general dentistry. A CT scan is a 3D image and provides much more information. This gives the dentist a clear look at the mouth, jaw bone and teeth. They can tell by looking at the CT scan if the jaw bone is healthy and if there are any problems that may change a patient’s treatment in regards to implant placement. The main thing we like to make clear to patients is that without the scan the dentist cannot give an honest treatment plan with a clear timescale for treatment and a true cost. We have been told by people inquiring about implant treatment that they have been given a treatment plan without a CT scan, and we believe this to be unfair to the patient as they do not know what they are truly getting into and it would be awful to start a treatment plan to then be told you need a CT scan and the treatment plan you thought you had becomes something entirely different. We do feel quite passionately about this and see it as proof that we have our patient’s best interest above anything else. We also provide a copy of the CT scan for patients who ask for one, and feel this is part of building a trusting relationship between the patient and the practice.



Figure CT scan Figure X-ray: Images from http://ct-dent.co.uk/my_app.php

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