Dental CBCT (cone beam computer Tomography) is a type of radiographic imaging system that uses a special technology to generate 3 dimensional (3D) images of facial and oral structures in one shot. It is usually used when regular radiographic image (2D) do not provide sufficient information and helps dental providers to create more accurate restorative and surgical treatment plans as it also shows soft tissues, nerve paths, in addition to bone and other facial landmarks.
Dental CBCT can produce images that are similar to those of conventional cone beam; however they are 2 different machines. Dental CBCT produces an x-ray shaped like a cone that moves around the patient’s head to produce a series of high quality images or views sometimes called layers, which are stitched together to show a 3 dimensional view.
Dental CBCT can be used for diagnostic and treatment planing purposes as it provides very detailed images of bones and other surrounding structures (sinuses, nasal cavity, facial bones, etc) with lower radiation when compare to conventional CT. It provides many advantages over 2 dimensional radiographic images. However, it lacks the image quality of conventional CT to evaluate nerves, glands, lymph nodes and muscles.
Dental CBCT is commonly used for treatment planning of surgical and orthodontic treatments. It can also be useful for cases that involve:
TMJ disorder diagnostic
Dental Implant placement
Oral facial reconstructive surgery
Planing for surgical extraction of impacted teeth
Evaluation of bone density and tooth orientation
Detecting and measuring jaw tumors
Evaluation of oral structures to locate pathologies
No special preparation is required for Dental CBCT examination. The patient will be asked prior to the examination to remove items that may interfere with the imaging (ear, nose, lip and tongue rings, eyeglasses, hairpins and hearing aids). Removable dental work will need to be removed as well. As required for regular (2D) radiograph, women who think they may be pregnant should inform the dentist or the operator.