A Dentascan exam is a specialized type of computed tomography study (CT or CAT scan), which is performed on a conventional CT scanner used for imaging all parts of the body. The Dentascan program is produced and licensed by General Electric (GE) and is performed only on "state-of-the-art" GE CT machines.
Why is a Dentascan performed?
The purpose of a Dentascan is to produce a highly detailed cross sectional image of the upper (maxilla) or lower (mandible) jaw, which is then analyzed by your dentist, periodontist, or oral surgeon to evaluate for dental implant sites.
The high resolution (1 mm) computerized images of the maxilla or mandible allow your doctor to take precise measurements of the potential dental implant sites, as well as, to access the mineralization or density of the involved bone site.
What can I expect during a Dentascan?
We use a high-speed GE spiral or "helical" scanner, which acquires data very rapidly. When it is time for the exam, the patient is positioned on the CT table by a technologist. Once situated, the table moves through a doughnut shaped ring called a gantry. This allows your jaw to be "scouted" by electronic sensors and then viewed on a monitor. You will usually have to lie completely still for less than five minutes of actual scanning time.
There is continuous intercom communication with the technologist and the radiologist who are stationed adjacent to the machine through a clear glass wall.
How long will my Dentascan take?
The exam takes 15-20 minutes.
Is the Dentascan safe?
Our state of the art spiral CT equipment produces a very low dose of x-ray exposure with negligible adverse effects. It is not much different than the exposure from "background environmental radiation" from the sun, air travel, television, or computer screens.
Do I need a referral (prescription) to have my Dentascan exam?
Yes, your dental specialist must provide a referral (prescription) for you to receive a Dentascan. Most insurance plans do not cover Dentascan; payment is required at the time of the exam.
When will I know the results of my Dentascan?
A complete set of Dentascan images and a written report, including precise measurements, will be mailed to your dental specialist.
What should I do to prepare for a Dentascan exam?
No special preparation is required. Any removable dentures are usually taken out before the exam.
On occasion, your doctor may require you to wear a "stent" or small mouthpiece during the scan. The stent will mark certain reference points for the implant sites.