Implant placement is no longer a novel treatment for dentists or patients. Although many treatment plans involving implant placement and restorations can be done using conventional radiographs and traditional surgical techniques, there are distinct advantages in incorporating cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) techniques in the treatment-planning phase.
The use of a 3-D CBCT scan in implantology is essential to avoid vital anatomy1 or to navigate challenging anatomical structures, such as nerves, blood vessels, concavities in the mandible and maxilla, and maxillary sinuses. The use of 2-D periapical films and panoramic films can aid in identifying these structures, but, due to inherent distortion in these radiographic methods, it is difficult to know their location with accuracy.2-4 Additionally, CBCT imaging may reveal pathologies that may affect implant placement at the site of interest or adjacent sites,3 the design of the prosthesis, and the long-term success of the treatment. It is important to note that in any instance in which a CBCT is ordered, the entire scan must be read and interpreted.
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