I’m a cancer survivor and have had tons of radiation in my day. My teeth were severely damaged as a result, which is why I now need some dental implants. I went to a highly reputable dentist but he is insisting on doing quite a bit of x-rays including a CT scan. I can understand the need for some of these, but is the CT scan really necessary?
First, don’t feel bad about the condition of your teeth. Cancer treatments do cause severe damage to teeth. Hopefully, your oncologist warned you about this. They can give you prescription fluoride treatments to help shore up your teeth a bit. Either way, this is not your fault.
I know you probably feel like you’ve had enough radiation to last the rest of your life, however, if you were going to skip some of the x-rays, the CT scan is one I would make sure you had. Here’s why.
The Importance of a CT Scan with Dental Implants
First, getting dental implants is a 3-D procedure. It’s important your dentist have a real terrain image of your jaw. There have been countless dentists placing implants without a CT scan who end up misjudging the depth and ended up perforating the patient’s sinus cavity. This won’t happen if they take time to do a proper set of scans so they know the right depth.
Other dentists will skip the CT scan and use shorter implants to avoid perforating anything. The problem with that is the implants don’t hold up for the long term like that. It’s actually a good sign your dentist is insisting on a CT. It shows he wants to take every precaution to do the procedure correctly.
Cosmetic Considerations with Dental Implants
When you’ve undergone cancer treatments, your body goes through a lot. You lose your hair. Your skin changes. Once you are done, it’s important to get back your life and self-confidence. Because your teeth have taken a beating, this is a good chance to feel confident about your smile again.
If you are content with the color (whiteness) of your teeth, you can ignore the remainder of this paragraph. But, if you’ve ever considered getting your teeth whitened it would make more sense for you financially to do it before the porcelain crown for your dental implant is made. ‘
The porcelain crowns can be made any color you want. However, the color is permanent. If you whiten your teeth first, the crowns can be made to match that color. If you wait until later, your natural teeth will whiten, but the implant crowns will stay the same. To get them to match, you would have to have your crown re-made.
This blog is brought to you by Huntsville Dentist Dr. Steve Murphree.