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3D Images vs. 2D Images

Image Is Everything

When it comes to imaging an excellent place to start is: “Why is 3D imaging superior to a two dimensional one?”

2D images displays all of the information captured within its view, but all of the information is superimposed. They do have their limitations. For instance, from a single film, it is possible to determine where structures lie within that image- all are seen within the same plane. Spatial relationships are unknown.

Three-dimensional imaging yields minimal distortion, with a 1:1 display of dental structures. Precision and accuracy are high. Adding the third dimension, entirely removes the limitations imposed by standard imaging, allowing for areas of interest and concern to be viewed accurately in their relative positions and without superimposition.

Added benefits also include significantly lowering the patient radiation doses, greatly increasing patient convenience, lowering patient cost, and giving complete control over implant diagnosis and treatment planning.

Two-dimensional Digital Radiographs

Two-dimensional digital radiographs are a compilation of data collected in the form of pixels, or picture elements. These are captured with CCD sensors, phosphor plate sensors or from scans of conventional film-based radiographs. Once in the computer and viewed on a monitor, a number of digital tools are used to evaluate the image diagnostically.


Three-dimensional cone beam images are derived from voxels instead of pixels. Voxels are three-dimensional cubes of information. When many voxels are compiled into an image, digital tools allow viewing any portion of that image, from any axis. These images become virtual representations of the objects studied. The diagnostic utility of the images is a quantum leap above its 2D counterparts.

Voxels are pixels with volume. While a pixel is a two-dimensional square, a voxel is a cube if information, which adds the third dimension to the acquired image.

Voxels have width, height, and depth. Each voxel represents the smallest component of the image, with each being stacked, and each individually having the ability to be manipulated by the software.

Cone beam images allow for three distinct planes to be visualized, and software allows for any areas within those planes to be evaluated.

For more information about 3D imaging and the role they play in our dental services schedule an appointment for you and your family today by contacting Dr. Tammy Korylko-Carny, DDS at 330-633-5002.