Airway Analysis in 3D

Seven years after serving in the United States, the Navy changed my view of dentistry. My general internship program at the Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego, California, allowed me to see the entire body, not just the teeth. So when i-CATTM 3D imaging became my exercise option, I was very excited. It has enabled me to raise the diagnostic capabilities to a new level, expanding into the field of airway analysis.

Through my i-CAT system, my treatment plan contains precise data about the dentition and the anatomy of the nose, which runs through the throat. I can use my clinical skills to help improve the health of patients.

Since the implementation of i-CAT Cone Beam 3D imaging in 2007, my diagnostic capabilities have risen to a new level.
Using i-CAT scanning and Tx STUDIOTM treatment planning software, I can examine the adequacy of restricted airway and nasal passages and obtain accurate axial, sagittal and coronal anatomy information. In my opinion, blocked or obstructed nasal passages can lead to a narrow upper jaw because the patient has difficulty or cannot exchange air through the nose. I used the coronal plane to measure the airway diameter in both planes and examined the nasopharynx and viewed its width.

Tx STUDIO’s airway tools allow me to perform calculations, measure, and color code the entire airway’s reduced value to evaluate the treatment plan. The software also gives me the flexibility to calculate these measurements on my own.

The lowest radiation dose is one of the reasons why I chose the i-CAT brand. I can use the low dose option depending on the desired resolution. In the case of low radiation dose 3D imaging, I have no reason to use 2D imaging.

Color coded airways provide information in 3D
When working in a sleep medicine doctor or otolaryngology with sleep disorders, I can share 3D scan data on disk or secure electronic communication. Through sleep studies and 3D imaging, ENT and I can determine a proper protocol. For those who cannot tolerate continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines, I can make some kind of intraoral appliance to correctly reposition the chin forward and open the increased airway volume.

Screen images from i-CAT scans help patients make informed consent decisions. Seeing their own airway anatomy in 3D can help me communicate with patients so they understand what the airways are, and what their airway problems are and how they can benefit them. Patients are often surprised that what they see on the scan is reflected in their health conditions, such as difficulty in nose breathing, persistence of nasal infections, or “adenoids” facial appearance.

Since the implementation of i-CAT cone beam 3D imaging in 2007, my diagnostic capacity has increased to a new level. For airway analysis, real-time observation of three-dimensional anatomy and effective patient education, i-CAT makes a difference.

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