CAT Scans & Laser Dentistry

Technology without knowledge is simply technology. With over 30 years of experience, Dr. Cabrera is an expert at analyzing CAT scans of the head and neck allowing to create a unique treatment plan for you. Dr. Cabrera is also a qualified dental professional in the field of laser dentistry and customizes each laser treatment to be safe and effective.  

CAT Scans In Our Office

Physicians have relied on computerized axial tomography scans (CAT) for many years.  CAT scans are an X-ray procedure that uses many different X-ray images with the help of computers to generate cross-sectional or even 3D views of internal organs and structures within the body.  A knee replacement surgery, for example, would never be performed without first examining 3D imaging.

Periodontists rely on 3D imaging techniques and i-CAT® scans to provide them with a detailed view of the mouth and skull.  The advantage that 3D imaging holds over regular dental x-rays is that bone structure, bone density, tissues, and nerves can be viewed clearly.

i-CAT® scans can be completed in less than half a minute.  This means that far less radiation enters the body than if a regular set of bitewing X-rays were taken. i-CAT® scans are essential to plan dental implant treatment and other oral surgery.

Dental implants are the most sophisticated replacement for missing teeth, but have historically proven to be time-consuming to place.  i-CAT® scans vastly reduce the time it takes to place implants. It is thought that in the near future implants will be placed in a single visit because of this unique type of imaging.

How are i-CAT® scans used?

i-CAT® scans are advantageous because they allow the dentist to magnify specific areas of the face.  In addition, the periodontist can easily view cross-sectional “slices” of the jaw, which makes planning treatment easier and faster.

Here are some of the main ways in which i-CAT® scans are used in dentistry:

  • Assess the quality of the jawbone where the implant will be placed.
  • Determine where nerves are located.
  • Diagnose tumors and disease in the early stages.
  • Measure the density of the jawbone where the implant will be placed.
  • Pinpoint the most effective placement for implants, including the angle of best fit.
  • Plan the complete surgical procedure in advance, from start to finish.
  • Precisely decide on the appropriate size and type of implants.
  • View exact orientation and position of each tooth.
  • View impacted teeth.

How are i-CAT® scans performed?

i-CAT® scans are quick and simple to perform.  A Cone Beam Imaging System is at the heart of the i-CAT® scanner.  During the scan, the patient sits stationary on a designated seat.  The cone beams are used to take literally hundreds of pictures of the face.  These pictures are used to compile an exact 3D image of the inner mechanisms of the face and jaw.  The dentist is able to zoom in on specific areas and view them from alternate angles.

Previous patients report the i-CAT® scanner is comfortable because they remain in a sitting position at all times.  Additionally, the scanner provides an open environment, meaning that claustrophobic feelings are eliminated.  The i-CAT® scan is an incredible tool that is minimizing the cost of dental treatment, reducing treatment time and enhancing the end results of dental surgery.

If you have questions or concerns about i-CAT® scans or 3D imaging, please contact our office.

Periodontal Laser Therapy by Dr. Cabrera

In order to stay up-to-date on the latest in dental technology Dr. Cabrera has recently added a Fotona Lightwalker Laser to his office to enhance patient treatment and comfort. The Lightwalker laser encompasses both a Er:YAG and Nd:YAG laser which function at specific wavelengths that help in the treatment of periodontal disease as well as aid in many other periodontal procedures.

Lasers have been used safely and effectively in medicine and dentistry for decades.  Periodontal laser therapy is a minimally invasive approach to treatment that results in less post-operative discomfort and faster healing in many circumstances. The laser is not for every patient and in more severe cases of periodontal disease, traditional periodontal therapy will likely still be needed. By using a laser, Dr. Cabrera can better help treat his patients in an effective, efficient, and comfortable manner.



Treatment of periodontal disease with the Lightwalker Laser is called Wavelength-Optimized Periodontal Therapy (WPT) and utilizes both the Er:YAG laser and Nd:YAG laser. 

 Utilizing both Er:YAG and Nd:YAG laser wavelenfths in a single treatment makes optimum use of the unique laser-tissue interaction characteristics of each wavelength.  For example, Nd:YAG laser energy is superior for coagulation and deep disinfection, while Er:YAG is uniquely efficient at gently removing the infected surface tissue and calculus from the root surface. Combined, they can dramatically improve the outcome of laser-assisted treatments, guaranteeing maximum safety and efficacy 

To view an informational video please visit

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