Is A CBCT Scan Necessary For Dental Implants?

August 10, 2022

CBCT scans are widely used for dental implant planning and monitoring, but there are still people who think the use of CBCT scan to plan dental implants is unnecessary. 

In this article, we will explain why you should use CBCT scans in implant dentistry and what exactly it can offer you in planning and monitoring your dental implants.

We will also discuss why it’s important to choose a clinic that offers planning and treatment based on the newest technology and equipment (like 3D planning and imaging) when you are considering receiving dental implants treatment.

What is Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT)?

Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) is a specialized x-ray machine used to take three-dimensional (3D) images of your teeth, soft tissues, nerve pathways, and bone in a single scan. 

It's often recommended for patients who are considering dental implants because it allows the dentist to see areas of concern in 3D which would not be as visible on 2D x-rays.

The Importance of CBCT in Implant Dentistry

With their distinctive design, dental implants have positioned themselves as a superior alternative to other tooth replacement solutions.

Rather than having artificial teeth held in place by means of connecting them to teeth as in the case of a dental bridge, dental implants are standalone artificial teeth that are inserted directly into the patient's jaw bone and then anchored through the process called osseointegration.

For an implant to work properly, the bone of the jaw must grow around it. As an implant is inserted directly into the jaw itself, an X-ray of the area is needed before the procedure.

Why a CBCT Scan Is Necessary Before a Dental Implant Procedure?

Dental implants are comprised of two components, one of which is a titanium post that is placed into the jaw bone and acts as the anchor for the dental implant. 

However, for the implant to be placed safely and without disruption to critical nerves or other important structures, it is essential for your dentist to be able to see where it will be located. CBCT scans are becoming increasingly popular in dental implant planning and monitoring.

This technology offers a number of advantages, including the ability to see the jawbone in 3D, which can help ensure the proper placement of implants. In addition, CBCT can be used to monitor the progress of healing and check for any potential complications.

How Many X-Ray Visits are Required for an Accurate Treatment Plan?

The two main types of x-rays that can be used to monitor implants are intraoral and extraoral X-rays. Intraoral X-rays provide a wealth of information. An oral surgeon can evaluate the bone health around dental implants, see how the teeth align and monitor the health of the jawbone with parallelized intraoral X-rays.

Extraoral X-rays are used to observe the development of the jaws and identify problems between the jaws and teeth. Usually, the surgeon will order a scan before and one after the implant intervention.

Dental Implant Failure

If there is significant bone loss around the implants, the surgeon will use X-rays to determine the outcome. A failed implant is indicated by significant bone loss surrounding the implant. 

An oral surgeon may remove the implant before it is cleaned by taking it out, depending on the extent of the problem.

If the bone in the area surrounding the dental implant is intact, a bone graft will not be necessary. However, if there is bone loss, a bone graft will be placed to improve the placement of the implant.

Maintenance and Monitoring Of Implants

There are various reasons why a CBCT scan is not only recommended but the best course of action when planning dental implants for a patient. CBCT scans can be used to evaluate your oral health and to ensure that the implants are in good shape. 

They can help identify problems and to prevent them from getting worse.  It is best to have a periodic check-up with your dentist, especially if you notice any changes in the function of your teeth or mouth.  

Reveal Diagnostics provides CBCT scans before and after the implant surgery in order to help ensure detailed information about the area which cannot be obtained just with a normal x-ray.

Most importantly, Reveal Diagnostics is the only dental CT imaging center to create cross-section slices and measurements at the true implant angle.

For more information click here.

Resources From Our Blog

Bitewing X-rays: What They Are And Why Your Dentist Recommends Them
The Clear Choice: 3D Dental X-rays vs 2D Dental X-rays
Don’t Let Gum Disease Steal Your Smile: Bone Loss Teeth X-rays Can Help Catch It Early
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