Dental cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) is a special type of x-ray machine used in situations where regular dental or facial x-rays are not sufficient. 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.
CT scans and cone beam CT both produce high quality images.
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 orthodontic issues. It is also useful for more complex cases that involve:
The focused x-ray beam reduces scatter radiation, resulting in better image quality.
A single scan produces a wide variety of views and angles that can be manipulated to provide a more complete evaluation.
Cone beam CT scans provide more information that conventional dental x-ray, allowing for more precise treatment planning.
CT scanning is painless, noninvasive and accurate.
A major advantage of CT is its ability to image bone and soft tissue at the same time.
No radiation remains in a patient’s body after a CT examination.
X-rays used in CT scans should have no immediate side effects.
Because children are more sensitive to radiation, they should have a CT exam only if it is essential for making a diagnosis and should not have repeated CT exams unless absolutely necessary. CT scans in children should always be done with low dose technique.
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