Cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) is a type of medical imaging that uses x-rays to create detailed, 3D images of the teeth, jaws, and surrounding structures. CBCT scans are commonly used in dentistry to help with treatment planning, diagnosis, and follow-up care.
A CBCT scan is typically performed in a dental office or imaging center. During the procedure, the patient is seated in a chair and asked to bite down on a small, curved piece of plastic called a bite block. The CBCT machine then rotates around the head and takes a series of x-ray images from different angles. The images are then processed by a computer and combined to create a 3D image of the teeth, jaws, and surrounding structures.
The entire CBCT scan procedure usually takes less than 20 minutes, and the patient is able to return to their normal activities immediately afterwards. Some patients may experience discomfort or difficulty biting down on the bite block, but this is usually minor and does not require any special treatment.
CBCT scans are a safe and effective way to get detailed, 3D images of the teeth, jaws, and surrounding structures. They are commonly used in dentistry to help with treatment planning, diagnosis, and follow-up care.
The uses of CBCT scans in dental treatment planning
Cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) scans are commonly used in dental treatment planning for a variety of reasons. Some examples include:
- Implant placement: CBCT scans can help dentists to plan the placement of dental implants, which are artificial teeth roots used to support replacement teeth. The 3D images produced by a CBCT scan can help dentists to identify the best location for the implants, taking into account the position of the nerves, sinuses, and other structures.
- Root canal therapy: CBCT scans can be used to help dentists plan root canal therapy, which is a treatment used to remove infected tissue from inside a tooth. The 3D images produced by a CBCT scan can help dentists to see the shape and position of the root canals, as well as the presence of any abnormalities or calcifications.
- Wisdom tooth extraction: CBCT scans can be used to help dentists plan the extraction of wisdom teeth, which are the third molars that typically emerge in the late teenage years or early adulthood. The 3D images produced by a CBCT scan can help dentists to see the position and shape of the wisdom teeth, as well as any potential complications, such as the presence of cysts or the proximity of the teeth to the nerves.
The benefits of using a CBCT scan in dentistry
There are several benefits to using a CBCT scan in dentistry, including
- Detailed, 3D images: CBCT scans provide detailed, 3D images that can help dentists to see the teeth, jaws, and surrounding structures from multiple angles. This can be particularly useful for identifying and diagnosing dental problems, such as cysts, tumors, and impacted teeth.
- Non-invasive: CBCT scans are non-invasive, meaning that they do not involve any cutting or other invasions of the body. This makes them a safer and more comfortable option for patients compared to some other types of imaging, such as CT scans or MRIs.
- Short procedure time: CBCT scans are relatively quick, with the entire procedure typically taking less than 20 minutes. This makes them a convenient option for patients who are short on time or who are anxious about spending a long time in the dental chair.
- Low radiation dose: CBCT scans use a low dose of ionizing radiation, which is generally considered to be safe. The radiation exposure from a CBCT scan is typically much lower than that of a traditional CT scan and is similar to the amount of natural background radiation that a person would receive over the course of a few days.
- Efficient: CBCT scans are efficient, with the images being available for review immediately after the scan is completed. This can help to speed up the treatment process, as the dentist does not have to wait for the images to be processed and reviewed by a radiologist.
At New Ivory, we use this cutting-edge technology to create 3-D scans of the teeth and jaws that show intricate nerve pathways and other soft and hard tissues in the brain. To learn more about our services in this field, contact one of our experts now, or schedule a session to get professional advice.