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3D X-ray with digital volume tomography

The digital volume tomograph (also: cone-beam CT) is an imaging procedure that is also used in dentistry. The dental volume tomograph DVT makes it possible to generate sectional images. An X-ray tube and an image sensor opposite it rotate around the patient. The tube, which rotates 180 to 360 degrees, emits a cone-shaped X-ray beam and shines through the area to be examined. During this rotation, the X-ray tube takes a very large series of two-dimensional images. These individual images are mathematically processed by a computer and then transferred into a three-dimensional image. The surface of the X-ray sensor used in this process is either round (cone beam) or rectangular (flat panel). The calculated data set consists of voxels, the smallest units that can be measured within data. With very small voxels, a correspondingly higher resolution is achieved. Due to the spatial representation of the structures, these images can be used diagnostically by the dentist. The digital X-ray images produced allow viewing from any perspective and almost any magnification, which currently allows the most precise diagnosis. Compared to applications such as computer tomography CT, the radiation exposure is considerably reduced with this method. It is roughly comparable to the radiation exposure of a normal scheduled flight to New York.

Application of DVT in dental practices

. Modern volume tomography DVT is used in many areas of dentistry, such as surgical dentistry. This includes treatments such as the surgical removal of wisdom teeth, root fractures, alveolar fractures, positional anomalies of teeth, but also the detection of tumours and the exact planning of implant restorations. Oral and maxillofacial surgery also benefits from the digital technology of DVT. For example, in the field of bone pathology (osteoporosis, ostitis) or maxillary sinus diseases and bony manifestations of temporomandibular joint diseases, but also for the diagnosis of bony malformations and for surgery planning, DVT is useful. In orthodontics, doctors use digital volume tomography to diagnose anomalies of the roots of teeth and tooth structure, as well as to detect tooth eruption disorders or craniofacial malformations.

Advantages for the patient

. The use of this procedure is not only advantageous for the patient. For the treating dentist, too, the advantages outweigh those of other procedures. All examined regions are displayed in original size 1:1 on three levels. The image quality is excellent, partly due to the extremely high resolution. The examination, which lasts less than a minute, provides superimposition-free images of the anatomical features in very thin layers. Compared to conventional computer tomography, the radiation exposure is much lower. The examination can be carried out in a sitting position, and the atmosphere of the examination is less oppressive. Since both the examination and the subsequent evaluation can be carried out directly, an additional appointment with a radiologist is not necessary. The administration of a contrast medium is also not necessary with this procedure.

Prices and cost assumption

Private insurance companies usually cover the costs of digital DVT imaging, whereas the statutory health insurances do not reimburse the dental volume tomograph.

The calculation is made according to the official fee schedule for doctors GOZ as an analogue calculation to a computer tomography CT. This is based on the cost of the evaluation and is lower for a tooth-nerve relationship in wisdom teeth than for extensive implant planning.

The cost range is between 100 € and 700 €.

Your individual cost plan will therefore always be prepared by your dentist after a personal consultation.

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