Dentistry, like most health care fields, is technology intensive ... from handpieces to filling materials to xrays to implant systems. A state-of-the-art technology, available at only a handful of practices in Central Oregon, that has revolutionized implant dentistry is Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT), or more routinely referred to as a Dental CT scan. I have provided a link under the "Consumer Education: Internet" tab that demonstrates how this technology works; but I would like to give you an overview right here.
CBCT: Historically, dental imaging has involved 2 dimensional "xrays" (technically, "radiographs") that every patient is familiar with. Most practices now use digital sensors to produce computer images rather than xray film. Digital images not only provide more information, but they allow manipulation of that information in a variety of ways. 3 dimensional digital imaging known commonly as CT Scanning (Computerized Tomography) has made its way from the medical field to dentistry by way of CBCT (Cone Beam Computed Tomography; also called Cone Beam Volumetric Imaging). The chief difference between medical CT and dental CT scanning is the Cone Beam application of xrays that results in an exposure-reducing highly focused field. Rather than lying supine in a body-encompassing tunnel undergoing a large swath of xray exposure, the patient sits or stands just like he/she would for a conventional dental panoramic image with the focused xray beam covering a narrow swath, thus substantially reducing xray exposure. CBCT scans don't take the place of 2 dimensional scans, which are lower still in xray exposure, but in certain diagnostic situations, most commonly in implant case evaluation and implant placement, the third dimension displayed by the CBCT scan makes for a safer, more successful procedure.