Dental cone beam CT, also known as CBCT, is a specialized imaging technique that provides highly detailed 3D images of the oral and maxillofacial structures. Unlike traditional dental X-rays, which capture only two-dimensional views, CBCT offers a comprehensive view of the teeth, jawbone, and surrounding tissues.
Using a cone-shaped X-ray beam that rotates around the patient's head, CBCT captures multiple cross-sectional images. These images are then reconstructed by powerful software to create a three-dimensional representation of the oral anatomy. This allows our surgeons at Associated Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons to accurately assess bone density, identify abnormalities or pathologies, and plan precise treatment interventions.
How Does It Work?
The patient is positioned in a designated area where the cone beam CT scanner is located. The scanner consists of an X-ray source and a detector that rotates around the patient's head during image acquisition. Once everything is set up, the machine will start taking multiple X-ray images from different angles. These images are then reconstructed by powerful computer software to create a 3D representation of the oral structure.
The technology used in dental cone beam CT allows for high-resolution imaging with minimal radiation exposure compared to traditional CT scans. This makes it safe and suitable for routine dental evaluations and treatment planning.
Moreover, these detailed 3D images provide surgeons with invaluable information about bone density, tooth position, nerve pathways, sinus cavities, and other vital structures. This aids in accurate diagnosis and helps dentists plan complex procedures such as dental implant placement or orthodontic treatment.
The Benefits of Dental Cone Beam CT
One of the major benefits of dental cone beam CT scans is their ability to provide highly accurate and detailed diagnostic images. Unlike traditional dental X-rays, which only show two-dimensional images, cone beam CT scans provide three-dimensional images that allow surgeons to assess the teeth, bones, nerves, and tissues from various angles. This helps in detecting any potential issues, such as impacted teeth or tumors, with greater precision.
Enhanced Treatment Planning
The detailed 3D images generated by cone beam CT scans enable surgeons to have a better understanding of patients' oral structures before performing procedures such as dental implant placement or orthodontic treatments. By visualizing the patient's jawbone density and nerve pathways accurately, surgeons can plan treatments more effectively and minimize any potential complications.
Reduced Radiation Exposure
Although cone beam CT uses higher radiation levels compared to regular dental X-rays, it exposes patients to significantly lower radiation levels than medical computed tomography (CT) scans. With advancements in technology, modern cone beam scanners are equipped with low-dose options that further minimize radiation exposure while maintaining image quality.
Quick and Non-Invasive Procedure
Cone beam CT scans are quick and non-invasive procedures that typically take less time compared to other imaging techniques like medical CT scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Patients simply need to sit still while the scanner rotates around their heads for about 20-40 seconds, capturing thousands of high-resolution images.
Better Patient Education
With the help of three-dimensional visuals produced by a dental cone beam CT scan, surgeons can explain complex oral conditions more easily to their patients. This allows patients to understand their diagnosis better and actively participate in treatment decisions by visualizing how different treatment options may affect their oral health.
To learn more about the services we offer, visit Associated Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons at one of our three convenient locations. You can find our Frederick dental office at 6550 Mercantile Drive E, Suite 101, Frederick, MD 21703, our Hagerstown dental office at 1144 Opal Court, Hagerstown, MD 21740, and our Martinsburg dental office at 1007 Sushruta Dr, Martinsburg, WV 25401. You can also call us for any queries at (301) 694-0870, (301) 733-2500, or (304) 263-0991, respectively.