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What is a Dental Cone Beam CT?

January 12, 2018

What is Dental Cone Beam CT?

Dental Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CT) is a special type of X-Ray machine used in situations where a traditional dental x-ray is not sufficient. It is also used as diagnostic imaging to find pathology of the jaw bones and surrounding structures.

This type of CT scanner uses a special type of technology to generate three dimensional (3-D) images of dental structures, soft tissues, nerve paths and bone in the craniofacial region in a single scan. Images obtained with Cone Beam CT allow for more precise treatment planning.

Cone Beam CT is not the same as conventional CT. However, dental Cone Beam CT can be used to produce images that are similar to those produced by conventional CT imaging with far less radiation.

With Cone Beam CT, an X-Ray beam in the shape of a cone is moved around the patient to produce a large number of images, also called views. CT scans and Cone Beam CT both produce high-quality images, allowing your dentist to review cross-sections of your head and neck.

Cone beam CT provides detailed images of the bone and is performed to evaluate diseases of the jaw, dentition, bony structures of the face, nasal cavity and sinuses. Cone beam CT has the advantage of lower radiation exposure compared to conventional CT.

What are some common uses of the procedure?

Dental Cone Beam CT is commonly used for treatment planning of orthodontics and dental implants. The advancement of dental medicine has brought about some of the most incredible methods for medical imaging. Cone Beam CT Imaging It is also useful for more complex cases that involve:

  • Surgical planning for impacted teeth.
  • Diagnosing temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).
  • Evaluation of the jaw, sinuses, nerve canals and nasal cavity.
  • Detecting, measuring and treating jaw tumors.
  • Determining bone structure and tooth orientation.
  • Locating the origin of pain or pathology.
  • Cephalometric analysis.
  • Reconstructive surgery.
  • Accurate and safe placement of dental implants.
Dental Cone Beam Computed Tomography 1

How should you prepare?

A Cone Beam CT exam requires no special preparation.

You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to your exam.

Prior to the examination, you may be asked to remove anything that may interfere with the imaging, including metal objects, such as jewelry, eyeglasses, hairpins and hearing aids. Although removable dental work may need to be removed, it is advisable to bring these to your examination, as your dentist may need to examine these as well.

Women should always let their dentist or oral surgeon know if there is any possibility that they are pregnant. Any time there's an effective dose of radiation being used for an exam, it's best to take the proper precaution.

The X-Ray source and detector are mounted on opposite sides of the revolving C-arm or gantry and rotate together for a more dynamic range. In a single rotation, the detector can generate anywhere between 150 to 200 high resolution two-dimensional (2-D) images, which are then digitally combined to form a 3-D image that can provide your dentist or oral surgeon with valuable information about your oral and craniofacial health.

How is the procedure performed?

You will be asked to stand or sit in the Radiology room. The dental assistant will position you so that the area of interest is centered in the beam. You will be asked to remain very still while the x-ray source and detector revolve around you for a 360-degree rotation or less. This typically takes about 15-20 seconds for a complete volume, also called a full mouth x-ray, in which the entire mouth and dental structures are imaged, and less than 10 seconds for a regional scan that focuses on a specific area of the maxilla or mandible.

What will I experience during and after the procedure?

You will not experience any pain during a Cone Beam CT exam, and you'll be able to return to your normal activities once the exam is complete. All imaging systems at Midtown Dental are safe and approved by the American Dental Association (ADA).

Who interprets the results and how do I get them?

Your Dentist will analyze the images. If necessary, your Dentist may also work with a Dental Radiologist who can interpret results that are of any significance. It's necessary to bring in the expertise and knowledge of a Dental Radiologist when observing the soft tissues, bone density, and any other part of your head and neck to make sure a proper diagnosis is conducted.

Implant planning with CBCT and CAD/CAM

Midtown Dental uses the same CEREC CAD/CAM technology, which brings you same day crowns, with 3D imaging to help treatment plan implants precisely and safely. This unique technological integration allows us to place implants with total confidence based on both the surgical site and final restoration. Surgical guides to position the implant, without risk to adjacent structures like nerves and sinuses among others, can be made completely digitally without impressions. This saves time, reduces number of appointments, and makes the entire process much more comfortable without messy impressions. Overall, it achieves the goal of improving the quality and fit of the final CEREC Crown. Dr. Apekian, herself, utilizes her art background to design and characterize each and every implant crown.

Dental Cone Beam Computed Tomography 2

Information sourced from: https://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=dentalconect