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CBCT (Cone Beam Computed Tomography)

CBCT (Cone Beam Computed Tomography)The CBCT systems used by dental professionals rotates around the patient, computing data using a cone shaped x-ray beam. This data is used to reconstruct a three dimensional (3D) image of the following regions of the patient's anatomy: Dental (teeth); Oral and Maxillofacial region (mouth, jaw, and neck); and ENT (ear, nose, and throat).

CBCT is useful in a variety of diagnostic situations, including but not limited to.

  • Oral Surgeries

  • Implant planning

  • TMJ analyses

  • Airway studies related to Sleep Apnea

  • Impacted teeth

  • Periodontal diseases

  • Endodontic anomalies

How does a Cone Beam CT differ from a Panoramic X-Ray? 

 The high-resolution 3-D images allow practitioners to more accurately visualize internal anatomy, assess risk, and plan treatment and surgery.

The scans can be used to assess bone quality, which is essential to evaluate if there is a sufficient amount of bone for implant placement, and utilized to quickly identify the size and location of a lesion. CBCT can also be helpful in orthodontic analysis, including the detection and localization of airway problems and skeletal asymmetries.

By comparison, 2-D images show only the length and breadth of the anatomy with distortion. CBCT adds depth, thus giving the clinician multiplanar views of the volume. This further improves diagnostic abilities and reduces the need to take multiple X-rays.

The 360° model of the patient that results from the CBCT scan can be rotated, and slices can be isolated and manipulated for analysis. CBCT imaging offers a tremendous advantage compared to 2-D radiographs since practitioners must compensate for superimposition and distortion often present in 2-D radiographs.

Hybrid units that include both 2-D and 3-D imaging allow dental professionals a way to optimize the dose in a manner that is not possible with large- and medium-field systems that lack 2-D modality. Further, like 2-D radiographs, 3-D scans may be easily shared among practitioners.

For example, an implant planning site can be chosen, virtual implant placed, and data shared with the restorative dentist to rule out any potential issues when placing the implant. Not only does this ensure that all clinicians involved in a patient’s care are working from the same data, it also elevates the standard of care and satisfaction by reducing the need for the patient to undergo multiple scans for each practitioner.