What Does a Cone Beam CT Scan Show

April 11, 2022

What does a cone beam CT show?

Cone beam CT scans can provide precise, detailed information on the teeth, nerve pathways, bones and soft tissues inside the body, without the harmful effects of radiation that regular X-rays cause. There are many reasons that your dentist might recommend this type of imaging. Here’s what you need to know about dental cone beam CT scans so you can talk to your dentist about whether it’s right for you.

What is a Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT)?

A CBCT provides three-dimensional X-ray images that have exceptional precision. This allows dentists to more accurately diagnose dental conditions and diseases. It also makes it easier for them to plan treatment procedures with greater precision, as well as making it possible for patients to receive better care.

Benefits of CBCT over Panoramic X-Rays

A CBCT scan offers many benefits over panoramic x-rays, including greater precision and versatility. It can also offer quicker scanning and treatment planning. Conventional x-rays use only one image to make an impression of your teeth and surrounding tissues, but CBCT scans take hundreds of these images to create a 3D model. This allows dentists to get an even better look at what’s going on inside your mouth.

What does a Cone Beam CT show?

Cone Beam CT is especially helpful when it comes to diagnosing dental conditions, because it offers clear cross-sectional images of both hard and soft tissues, which allows dentists to see both structure and function. It also offers special imaging tools that traditional CT scans do not; in particular, virtual marginal analysis can be performed in order to examine teeth for signs of fracture or wear that are otherwise undetectable by other imaging methods. Or, if you’re worried about cavities forming at your gum line or have received braces recently, a cbct can provide you with information about any gaps that may be forming between your teeth as they move into their new positions.

Common Uses for CBCT

CBCT is a valuable diagnostic tool in oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, TMJ treatment, dentofacial orthopedics, periodontics and even sleep apnea.

For example: orthodontists often use panoramic radiographs as part of their diagnostic imaging regimen. But CBCT provides much more detail than traditional X-rays, making it particularly valuable in examining complex conditions like traumatic injuries or infections.

TMJ/Chiropractic Treatment: Traumatic brain injury from sports or motor vehicle accidents can lead to TMJ (temporomandibular joint) dysfunction. Diagnosis of these conditions requires detailed images that only CBCT can provide.

When treating patients with dental implants, CBCT is used to assess bone quality before placement of titanium posts into jawbone. After placement, patients are given regular follow-up appointments for monitoring and adjusting position if necessary.

Patients with sleep apnea have been shown to experience fewer breathing interruptions when fitted with customized mouthpieces after an initial assessment using CBCT.

If you’re having dental work done, ask your dentist if he recommends using a CBCT scan for diagnosis and treatment. Dentists can use CBCT scans to detect potential problems in areas of your mouth that are hard to see with traditional X-rays, like wisdom teeth or root canal fillings.  And because they provide more detailed images than traditional X-rays, they allow dentists to offer more personalized care plans.

Resources From Our Blog

Everything You Need to Know About Maxillofacial CT Scans
Do Chiropractors Take X-rays? Everything You Need to Know About Chiropractic Imaging
Are Dental X-Rays Safe? Here’s What the Science Says
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