Dental Cone Beam CT Imaging
At Tulsa Dental Center, we use the most advanced dental innovations to deliver exceptional dentistry to all of our clients.
What is Dental Cone Beam CT Imaging?
Sometimes, traditional facial or dental x-rays are insufficient for a specific situation. When this is the case, Dental Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CT) is used. This highly specialist type of equipment is capable of producing a 3D image of your soft tissues, teeth, nerve pathways, and bone- all in a single scan.
Dental cone beam CT imaging involves a higher level of radiation exposure than traditional x-rays and is therefore not used in routine dental exams. The images obtained via dental cone beam CT allow us to make a much more precise level of treatment planning.
Cone beam CT imaging is not the same as a typical CT scan, but it does produce similar images. A dental cone beam CT is a device positioned next to a table or chair, allowing patients to lay down comfortably during imaging.
An x-ray beam in the shape of a cone is maneuvered to produce a large number of high-quality images. Because the dental cone beam CT scanner is smaller than a conventional CT scanner, it emits less radiation than a conventional CT scan.
What is a dental cone beam CT scanner used for?
Dental cone beam CT scanners are typically used to help our dental team determine an effective plan of treatment for a variety of orthodontic issues. This type of imaging can also be used for more comprehensive cases, including:
- Precision placement of implants
- Surgical planning for impacted teeth
- Diagnosis of TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder)
- Finding the location of pathology or pain
- Detection, measuring, and the treatment of tumors of the jaw
- Reconstructive Surgery
- Comprehensive analysis of the nasal cavity and nerve canals
- Cephalometric Analysis
- Ascertaining tooth orientation and bone structure
Patient Preparation for Dental Cone Beam CT Scanning
Cone beam CT scans require no special preparation on the part of the patient. Before your exam, you will be asked to remove items including glasses, jewelry, and metal hairpins.
You may also need to take out any removable dental work. However, it is important you DO bring your removables with you in case your dentist needs to see these. If there is a possibility you may be pregnant, please contact us prior to your appointment to advise us of this.
How the dental CT procedure works
During a typical dental cone beam CT exam, an arm of the machine will rotate around the patient’s head by 360 degrees. During this rotation, the machine will capture a large number of images from a wide range of angles.
In any one full rotation, anywhere from 150-200 individual images may be generated. These images are then collated and reconstructed in order to create a singular 3D image.
- You will be asked to sit or lie down in the chair or on the table.
- Your dentist will then help you get into the correct position, with the area of concern placed centrally in the beam.
- You will be asked to remain as still as possible, allowing the equipment to rotate a full 360 degrees. The entire process will take 15-40 seconds, depending on how much of the mouth requires imaging.
- The entire experience is free of pain and discomfort, and upon completion, you may return to your day as usual.
What are the benefits of getting a Dental Cone Beam CT Scan?
- No immediate side-effects
- Upon completion of the examination, no radiation remains in the body
- One scan produces a range of angles and views, allowing for a higher quality image than an x-ray alone
- High-quality images equip your dental team to make a more comprehensive evaluation
- Highly accurate
- Simultaneous imaging of both soft tissue and bone
If your dentist has discussed a Dental Cone Beam CT scan at Tulsa Dental Center, and you have any questions about the procedure or costs, please contact our team today to discuss.
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