In this health video learn how a new type of scanner at the dentist's office may do a much better job of detecting the source of your pain that the equipment of the past.
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Jennifer Matthews: Tony Kukowski loves to eat. But not long ago, tooth pain made it difficult. Tony Kukowski: It was a little uncomfortable eating at times. I knew something was wrong with it. Jennifer Matthews: Regular x-rays didn't show a problem. Dr. Joe Kravitz: We didn't see any major sign of infection here. Jennifer Matthews: So his dentist decided to get a better look with a new three-dimensional CT scan. Tony Kukowski: It's almost like a rollercoaster ride except the chair doesn't move. The machine moves around you. Jennifer Matthews: The Iluma provides a 360-degree look at teeth and gums. Ultra-high-resolution 3-D pictures - instead of the shadows on traditional x-rays. Dr. Joe Kravitz: It's like looking through the tooth like superman, so you can see the inside of the tooth. You can see it from the top. Jennifer Matthews: The machine exposes patients to 90-percent less radiation than traditional x-rays. As a scanner circles their head, digital plates record thousands of slices of data and put it in a 3-D skull format the dentist can manipulate any way he wants. Dr. Joe Kravitz: You get to arteries, veins and nerves. You can also see the bone, the teeth and the roots of the teeth. Jennifer Matthews: Dentists can zoom, spin and even cut the images to see areas a traditional scan never captures, allowing them to see problems they never could before. Dr. Joe Kravitz: We found tumors in patients where they didn't realize they had cancer. Jennifer Matthews: It's more expensive than traditional x-rays, but is often covered by insurance. In Kukowski's case, it actually uncovered a hole in his skull caused by a massive infection at the roots of his teeth. Dr. Joe Kravitz: We were like, 'Wow, we can see why he's in so much discomfort. Jennifer Matthews: A root canal and a filling led to relief. Tony Kukowski: Oh, it made a huge difference. Jennifer Matthews: Now he can eat again, pain-free. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.
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