Cone-Beam Computed Tomography Systems (CBCT)
If you’ve recently been to the dentist and were asked if you would consider having a cone-beam CT scan (CBCT) done, you might be wondering why the regular x-rays you have had done aren’t good enough? A CBCT sounds serious and a little overwhelming. Besides, have you seen the size of the machine?!
What is a CBCT Scan?
A CBCT scan or cone-beam computed tomography scan can be beneficial to your dentist in obtaining a better overall view of your entire mouth, jaw, nasal, and throat areas. A CBCT creates fantastic 3D images that show bone, airway, and soft tissue in these areas, as well as any dental work you may have.
CBCT scans use radiation, but they use much less than the CT scans you are used to. While they do use radiation, they are very safe.
The Advantages of CBCT in Dentistry
There are many CBCT advantages that provide the reasoning behind this type of testing. The main reason is the quality of the imaging. CBCT provides more views and angles of three-dimensional images to evaluate more complex structures such as bones and soft tissues.
CBCT scanners also use a cone-shaped X-ray beam and capture images in a single rotation, resulting in a lower radiation dose compared to traditional CT scans. This makes CBCT a safer option for patients, while still providing valuable diagnostic information.
Another cone-beam CT scan advantage is that it aids in early treatment by providing better identification and diagnosis of dental abnormalities. This helps with treatment planning.
What Happens During a CBCT Scan?
During a CBCT dental scan, you’ll be sitting comfortably while the imaging machine slowly rotates around your entire head. You need to be completely still during the scan, and so you may be given something to put your head against to help you remain that way. While taking only about 20-40 seconds, the CBCT test is quick and entirely painless.
Amazingly, during the few seconds of scanning, over 150 images are taken and then put together to make a single 3D picture for your dentist to view. It is more effective at providing a full mouth x-ray image than the old black and white imaging.
Does Everyone Need a CBCT Scan?
Your dentist may recommend you get a CBCT scan for a few reasons. First, it can be used as part of the planning step for your dental treatment. By having a CBCT scan, your dentist will be able to have much-needed detailed information about your oral situation. This information can include images of:
- Bone loss
- Tooth decay
- Soft tissue
- Facial fractures or abnormal growths
- Tooth root issues
- Signs of TMJ or other problems with the jaw
- Other irregularities
Obviously, these are all things you would want your dentist to be aware of when performing any kind of treatment.
CBCT scans aid in precise treatment planning for various medical and dental procedures. They provide detailed information about the location, size, and orientation of structures, allowing healthcare professionals to plan surgeries, orthodontic treatments, dental implant placement, endodontic procedures, and other interventions with greater accuracy.
A procedure like a dental implant would be best undertaken with as much knowledge as possible. This way, potential problems could be addressed beforehand or avoided altogether. A dental implant may even be determined as unsafe and not performed at all due to the information that was safely gathered through a CBCT scan.
Even something like a fitting for a sleep appliance can be better customized for each patient from added precision supplied from a CBCT scan.
Where Can I Find a Dentist with CBCT Technology?
The cone-beam CT scan benefits are evident, but does every dentist offer this type of imaging? Not necessarily.
If you are interested in learning more about how CBCT can benefit you for your next procedure, call myDental to schedule a checkup and cleaning, and visit with one of our skilled dentists about your options.
We have several convenient locations to serve you and your family better. myDental is committed to always providing you and your loved ones safe, quality dental care. Call us if you have any questions about our available services.
We look forward to meeting you! Schedule an appointment today!