What Is a Cone Beam CT Scan? How Is It Used in Dentistry?

Dental x-rays are an invaluable part of dentistry, enabling dentists at the Cosmetic Dentistry Center to see areas of the mouth not visible to the naked eye. However the development of new technology has brought about the need for dentists to see the mouth in even greater detail, using a cone beam CT scan.

How Does a Cone Beam CT Scan Work?

A cone beam CT scan works by rotating around a person’s head, taking multiple images that are compiled into one 3-D digital image. The scanning time can last between just a few seconds and 40 seconds and may take between 150 and 599 views of a person’s head. It’s called a cone beam scanner because it emits a cone shaped beam of x-rays whereas a conventional CT scan emits a fan shape beam of x-rays. This treatment is quick and very noninvasive and all you need to do is keep still while the machine rotates around your head.

How Safe Are Cone Beam CT Scans?

Cone beam CT scans admit far less radiation than a typical CT scan but in spite of this that can be considerable variations between the types of machine used to take these images. Here at the Cosmetic Dentistry Center we have invested in the very latest cone beam scanner that only emits a tiny amount of radiation so it’s extremely safe for use. It can even be used in pediatric dentistry.

Cone Beam CT Scans and Their Importance in Dental Implants

Dental implants are becoming increasingly common and while this treatment can be excellent, a successful dental implant does require a high degree of planning. An important part of this planning process is to have a 3-D scan taken with a cone beam CT scanner. A cone beam CT scan or can provide a dentist with incredibly detailed 3-D images of the jaws and teeth as opposed to traditional dental x-rays that only capture 2-D images.

Your cone beam CT scan will enable your dentist to see anatomical structures with increased clarity, enabling them to see areas containing blood vessels or nerves that must be avoided during implant surgery. Using these images your dentist will be able to pinpoint the exact position for each dental implant, ensuring it avoids important these anatomical structures while still being able to function properly and of course this extensive treatment planning helps ensure the implant looks fabulous once it’s fully restored with an implant tooth.

Other Uses for Cone Beam CT Scans

This versatile machine has a number of other uses, particularly when planning orthodontic treatment. If you need complex orthodontic treatment we may suggest you have a cone beam CT scan as the 3-D images provided can enable our orthodontist to plan where and how the teeth can be safely moved to effectively straighten them. A cone beam CT scan can also be used in oral surgery and is particularly useful for treating TMD or temporomandibular joint disease, a condition that can cause the jaw joints to become painful and inflamed. If you have sleep apnea, then 3-D images can be useful in diagnosing and treating this condition. We may also suggest you have a 3-D image taken for root canal treatment as enabling us to visualize the root canals can be very useful in identifying any infection.

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