Dental Imaging System

Dental Imaging System is a recently developed computerised graphic technology which will be of immense use to a Cosmetic Dentist. With the help of this patient's future images (post treatment) can be designed.

Smile certainly plays an important role in anybody's personality. Though ideal smile ia a bit of myth, designing a smile ideal for that particular face is no more a myth now, However, computer editing of facial feature with the help of "Dental Imager" Available software can give the patient an instant look into the crystal ball of esthetic dentistry. It is possible by altering the facial image to show immediate changes in the patienta appearance in a "before and after" format displayed on the screen. Even these images can be printed out.

    Components of Imager
  • Camera: Imager is consisting of a video camera and a intra oral camera. Both the camera can be connected to a computer. Some of the imaging systems are equipped with only a single camera. With this tiny camera the operator not only can view a tooth surface but even full face.
    This camera is like a hand piece which houses a 90 degree lens which has ability to be laid on the tooth surface. It can capture, rotate, zoom & stores true life images
  • Image Processor: This compound system consist of programmed software and specialized hardware. An image-capture graphic board, which digitalizes and records the images in 32,768 possible colours, is the heart of the system. The computer turns the video image from the camera into a series of numbers (digitalized) and assigned a number to each pixel (dot) that makes up a colour monitor television screen. The image is displayed on the monitor as a still television picture. This screen image can be easily changed by using a device rather like a pen on a plastic pad and which directs an arrow on the screen (the cursor) to selected various options which are available for getting the appropriate required image.
  • Color Printer: The printer provides high definition colour image for patients and dentist. With the help of imager the cosmetic dentist carries out all requisite dental procedure (like filling, bleaching, contouring, laminating, veneering and so many other) to correct the shortcomings of the smile on the screen. This shows the patient a picture of the final ideal smile that should emerge after the actual corrective and designing procedure is completed. This means that the modern dentist can use an image to simulate and display possible results of fillings, veneers, crowns, laminates, inlays, bridges and implants, cosmetic re contouring of teeth and gums, orthodontic procedure, orthognathic and maxillo facial surgery. Many software systems are available at this time. However, it is necessary that system selected should be user-friendly. A software system usually includes modalities for change such as blending, drawing, copying, moving, tapering, trimming and scaling.

Computer Imaging Technology with highly magnified, clear, crisp images gives the dentist the ability to identify cosmetic concerns, discuss possible treatment options, demonstrate the effect of overall facial change and communicate the benefits of treatment.
After freezing the image or images the dentist can duplicate images, maintain left images as the "before" while modifying the right or °after" image. Reversing of the images is also possible. Patient can compare his image before and after picture. Even he can show this printed picture of his future image to his close ones for acceptance.

Photo albums can be treated for each patient which includes all types of photographs viz. Smiles, Profiles, Full face, a single tooth, occlusal views, even models and radiographs. These can be easily accessed and edited.

Single image, multiple images, entire photo album of a patient could be seen on a single screen and even can be printed.

It is the dentist's most powerful tool to educate patients. Direct preoperative visual communication helps to increase post-operative satisfaction by improving patient education in regards to realistic results. It also establishes instant credibility with the dentist. This visual communication may be invaluable in teaching and explaining the procedure to learning dentist.

By viewing computer graphics, patients can recognize each component of dental procedure in a planned and sequential order. Thus the patient can select treatment plans that are personally and economically beneficial.

The computer imaging system also allows the dentist to compile an imaging library of `before" images, "after" and F"true after" images of patients who have completed treatment.

The major disadvantage with computer imaging arise when a dentist is overly optimistic about post-operative improvements during the imaging session.
If the final result is not correlating with the printed out future image the patient will obviously get dissatisfied. In this circumstances legal complication may arise.
Additional disadvantage include expenses (cost varies from Rs. 4-7 lacs) and time necessary to be include computer imaging session.
Computer imaging technology if approached with an honest and conservative manner is going to an invaluable tool in "Cosmetic Dentistry". It is the most ultra modern state of the art technology which can start a new relationship between the patient and the dentist.
No doubt, the trend will continue with future computer generation offering even more efficient, accurate "Users friendly" and less costly system.