I’ve been using my computer to plan my implant treatments for a decade and a half. I use a 3D planning software called SimPlant – the first in its field and still, I think, the best. Using a sophisticated form of Xray imaging, it helps me visualise precisely where I should place an implant for best results, both aesthetically and functionally. It tells me not just where the bone is, but its quality, too. So it always amazes me to learn that there are still dentists placing implants without this invaluable tool. It used to be necessary to take a CT scan to capture the imaging data, and that involved the patient in an Xray radiation dose roughly equivalent to a day at an Australian beach; a reason to be cautious, to be sure. But we now use a machine called a cone-beam CT scanner. This family of devices uses a dose a mere fraction that of a conventional CT scanner. I saw an interesting discussion of these amazingly powerful gadgets here, and thought I’d share it with you.