How Does 3D Imaging Help Orthodontic Care?

  • January 15, 2016

With 3D imaging, we can see greater detail than ever before. New technology makes this a more realistic experience, and it can really help you understand the problems you are seeing as they develop in front of you.

No, we aren’t talking about the latest Star Wars movie. We are talking about the ways we use technology to help our patients at Donaldson 3D Orthodontics.

Effective orthodontic treatment starts with good information. We want to know as much as we can about your teeth so we can give you the most effective treatment that we can.

Below, we will explain how we use state-of-the-art imaging for something other than entertainment at our dentist offices in New Iberia and Broussard.


The first piece of equipment we want to mention is our cone beam scanner, the i-CAT FLX.

You may be wondering what a cone beam scanner is. Well, you can think of it as a three-dimensional X-ray machine.

With traditional X-ray machines, we could make two dimensional images of your teeth. With a cone beam scanner, we make a series of digital images of your teeth and facial bones. Those images can be reassembled with computer software to create a 3D image of your teeth and bones.

This gives us a better view of your teeth alignment. It helps us see how wisdom teeth are positioned, and it can even help us see why you might have problems in your airway.

Another advantage of the i-CAT FLX is that it uses less radiation than an old X-ray machine and still produces higher quality images.

▶︎ iTero and Lythos

Have you ever had an impression made at the dentist office? A lot of times a dentist will get a tray and fill it with some soft material that you have to bite to hold in your mouth.

If you have a sensitive gag reflex, then you know this can be more difficult than it seems.

Well, digital imaging comes to the rescue again. We use both the iTero and Lythos digital impression systems.

This is good for our patients because you don’t have endure the taste of the impression molding material. This is less messy for our staff, too.

And we believe that the digital impression are more accurate than what we used to get from the molds.

Even better, the digital impression are ready instantly. These can be sent to our orthodontic providers, such as Invisalign, so they can design the most effective appliances possible for you and your teeth.

A Winning Combination

As great as the i-Cat FLX is by itself, it’s even better when the images are used in conjunction with what we receive from our iTero and Lythos digital impressions.

This information allows us to see more precisely what your teeth look like along with the bone structure around your teeth. We use this knowledge to help with all of the treatments we offer in our practice, such as:

◼︎ Adult orthodontics — Years ago, adult orthodontics treatments were rare. With improvements in modern dentistry, more people are aware of the health and cosmetic benefits of straight teeth. As a result, it has become more common for working adults to undergo orthodontic care.

◼︎ Invisalign — For many people, Invisalign can be an effective alternative to traditional braces. Instead of brackets and wires, we can design a series of plastic aligners to push your teeth into a much straighter and more visually appealing position.

◼︎ Dentofacial orthopedics — By taking a close look at your children’s teeth, we can identify potential problems before they begin. With dentofacial orthopedics, we can guide how your children’s adult teeth grow, which can prevent or minimize the need for orthodontic care as they get older.

◼︎ Preventive orthodontics — Along a similar line, we can offer preventive orthodontics to widen your child’s arch (to make room for teeth to emerge), a forsus (to eliminate overbites), and space maintainers (for children who lose a baby tooth a little too soon).

◼︎ Short-term orthodontics — Some patients only need minimal orthodontic care to get the smiles that they have been dreaming about. With our digital imaging, we can design orthodontic treatment that gives our patients effective treatment in the shortest amount of time.

See The Difference For Yourself

If you or someone you love needs orthodontic treatment, you want to know that it will work. The information that we receive through our digital imaging allows the team at Donaldson 3D Orthodontics to design the treatments that are as effective as possible for you or someone you love.

If you live in or near New Iberia or Broussard, use our online form or call 337-465-4139 to make an appointment at either of our dentist offices.



Orthodontics does more than straighten your teeth! From better sleep, relieving jaw pain and better overall health – orthodontics can help!