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Exploring the Cost of 3D Dental Scans

Exploring the Cost of 3D Dental Scans

Are you considering having a dental implant, orthodontic procedure, or other dental procedure requiring some form of dental scan? Chances are, your dentist has recommended that you undergo a 3D dental scan. This is a newer technology used in dentistry to provide more precise and detailed images of your oral structures.

But how much does a 3D dental cost?

In this guide, we will explore its price and help you understand why it is becoming the standard in modern dentistry.

What Is a 3D Dental Scan?

A 3D dental scan, also known as Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT), is a type of X-ray used in the dental industry. It provides a three-dimensional image of teeth, soft tissues, nerve pathways, and bone in a single scan. This technology has revolutionized dental care due to its level of detail and precision.

What Does a 3D Dental Imaging Show?

  • Teeth. The scan can provide detailed images of individual teeth, showing the tooth structure and the surrounding tissues. It’s useful in diagnosing tooth decay, determining tooth orientation, and planning treatments like root canals or dental implants.

  • Bones. The 3D scan can view the quality and volume of the jawbone, critical for procedures such as dental implant placement. It can also reveal problems in the bone like tumors and fractures.

  • Soft Tissues. It can visualize soft tissues in the mouth, which can help diagnose conditions affecting the gums, palate, and other soft tissues.

  • Nerves. The scan can show the position of critical structures such as the inferior alveolar nerve during planning for dental implants. This helps to prevent nerve damage.

  • Sinuses and Nasal Cavity. These areas are clearly visible in a 3D dental scan, helping assess their condition and plan for surgeries that might affect them, such as sinus lifts for dental implants.

  • Temporomandibular Joints (TMJ). The scan can provide clear images of these joints, which connect your jaw to your skull. This can help diagnose TMJ disorders. 

Why Is a 3D Dental Scan Important in Dentistry?

Improved Diagnostic Accuracy

3D dental scans provide detailed images, enabling practitioners to diagnose dental problems accurately. These high-resolution scans can easily detect conditions like bone loss, tumors, or hidden dental structures.

Correct Surgical Planning

Dentists with complex cases like dental implants, root canal treatments, or oral surgeries can significantly benefit from 3D dental scans. It allows a 360-degree view of the oral cavity, aiding in precise surgical planning.

Identifying Anomalies

3D dental scans can quickly pinpoint certain dental anomalies that are usually difficult to detect through regular X-rays. They can reveal issues like cysts, abscesses, and fractures in the jawbone feature.

Facilitates the Creation of Accurate Dental Appliances

3D scans provide an exact image of the teeth’ structure for creating appliances like crowns, bridges, or dentures, ensuring a perfect fit.

Time and Cost-effective

With the ability to detect potential issues at early stages, 3D dental scans can save the patient considerable time, costs, and unnecessary discomfort.

Better Patient Education

With clear 3D images, dentists can effectively explain the patient’s condition and treatment plan, enhancing understanding and cooperation.

Orthodontic Assessments

3D dental scans are invaluable for orthodontic assessments as they give a complete view of the teeth and jaw structure, providing all necessary information for diagnosis and treatment planning.

Safety

3D dental scans use less radiation than traditional X-rays, providing a safer diagnostic tool. 3D dental scans provide:

  • A comprehensive understanding of the patient’s dental structure
  • Ensuring more accurate diagnoses
  • Effective treatment plans
  • Better oral health care

How Does a 3D Dental Scan Work?

Step 1: Preparation

To start, the patient is guided to either stand or sit in a specific area for the scan. This is to ensure that the scanner captures accurate and compelling images.

Step 2: Scanning Procedure

Once the patient is comfortably positioned, the scanner begins its work. Rotating harmlessly around the patient’s head, it swiftly takes pictures from various angles. This process stage usually only takes 10 to 20 seconds, making it quick and convenient for the patient.

Step 3: Image Processing

The images captured during the scan are then digitally processed. Specialized software takes the scanned images and processes them to generate a detailed and intricate 3D model.

Step 4: Model Examination

The created 3D model delivers a comprehensive view of the patient’s dental health. It can be manipulated and viewed from multiple angles, allowing the dental professional to thoroughly understand the patient’s dental state.

By following these steps, dental professionals can gather significant information, allowing them to make accurate diagnoses and suitable treatment plans.

How Much Does a 3D Dental Scan Cost?

The 3D dental scan price varies depending on the location and specific dental practice. On average, it can range from $350 to $600 per session. However, the out-of-pocket cost will depend on your insurance policies. Some dental insurance plans may cover part or all of the cost of these scans. 

Make sure to contact your insurance provider before undergoing the procedure to know if you’re covered.

What Factors Influence the 3D Tooth X-Ray Cost?

Insurance

If you have dental insurance, your out-of-pocket cost for a dental X-ray can be significantly reduced. However, coverage varies greatly between insurance providers and plans.

Location

The pricing for this digital dentistry 3D printing procedure can significantly diverge based on the dental clinic’s geographical location and class. Generally, costs tend to escalate in significant cities and bustling metropolitan areas due to the high overhead costs and advanced technology utilized. On the other hand, clinics in smaller towns or rural communities may offer these dental services at lower prices due to lesser operational costs and overheads.

Capital Prices

This refers to the initial cost of purchasing the X-ray machine and related equipment. Higher capital costs can influence the price charged for each scan.

Purpose of the Scan

The objective behind undergoing a dental scan could influence the final cost. For instance, a 3D dental scan conducted purely for diagnostic reasons, like detecting an emerging dental issue such as an impacted tooth or an infection, could be covered by one’s insurance scheme, lessening its out-of-pocket expense.

Similarly, when such advanced imaging service is sought for treatment planning or cosmetic enhancements like perfecting a virtual model for Invisalign or veneers, insurance coverage may not apply, thus leading to a steeper cost.

Economic Factors

External economic factors such as inflation, interest rate changes, and economic recessions can also impact the cost of 3D dental X-rays. 

Is a 3D Scan Better Than Dental X-Rays?

Frequently, dental patients exhibit concerns over the safety of 3D scans, specifically regarding radiation exposure. Notably, 3D dental scans employ a significantly lower amount of radiation than traditional full-mouth film X-rays. Thus, patients can rest assured that they are not excessively exposed to harmful radiation.

However, dental practices should always consider the principle of ALARA (“As Low As Reasonably Achievable”) to keep radiation exposure minimal. Pregnant women, for instance, are usually advised to delay non-emergency dental X-rays or scans until after their pregnancy.

Take Action for Your Oral Health: Book Your 3D Dental Scan Today

The cost of a 3D dental scan may initially seem like a significant investment. However, it can be worth it if you consider the profound benefits, such as the accuracy, convenience, and potential health improvement. A 3D dental scan can be valuable to a successful, long-lasting dental treatment plan.

At Bergen’s Periodontics & Implant Dentistry, we are committed to providing quality dental care using cutting-edge technology, including 3D scans. This helps us make precise and effective dental decisions. While we understand that the cost factor may be a concern, we believe that investing in your oral health is a wise decision, and it can save you from potential future dental problems.

To learn more about the benefits of 3D dental scans and to schedule an appointment, please contact our office today. Our team of highly skilled and experienced professionals will be happy to answer any questions you may have and guide you through the process.