What is Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT)?

Published on January 08, 2021
What is Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT)?

What is Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT)?

CBCT is a non-invasive x-ray procedure that’s used by dentists to assist with treatment planning, diagnosis of dental conditions, and post-surgery evaluation.

In this article, we’re answering your questions about CBCT and what the benefits are of this innovative dental technology.

What is CBCT?

CBCT - also known as cone beam radiography - is a type of x-ray beam that rotates around a patient’s head to capture 3D images. The images captured by a CBCT scan are more detailed than those produced by a digital dental x-ray.

The data obtained from a CBCT scan can be used to produce a three-dimensional image of the patient's mouth, jaw, neck, teeth, ears, nose and throat.

What does a CBCT scan involve?

The procedure for a CBCT scan is very straightforward. Depending on the type of scanner, you’ll be asked to sit or stand while a small CT scanner rotates around your head, emitting x-ray beams in a cone-shaped pattern.

During the x-ray process, you’ll bite down gently on a plastic mouthpiece - this ensures your head and jaw remain still so the scanner can capture the most accurate images.

A dental CBCT scan is a low-risk procedure as it is non-invasive, however it is a higher radiation dose than a regular x ray, and therefore you Dentist will only suggest one when absolutely necessary.

What conditions can be diagnosed by CBCT?

A dental CBCT scan can be used by dentists for a number of purposes, including:

  • Dental implant planning
  • Evaluating abnormalities in the teeth, jaws and face
  • Assessment of the cleft palate
  • Diagnosis of root canals and dental trauma
  • Diagnosis of pain of unknown origin

CBCT is particularly useful when planning dental implant placements, as the images allow the dentist to visualise where the best bone is, enabling them to place the implant in the most secure position.

Why might I need a CBCT scan?

In most cases, a dental CBCT scan will only be required when a traditional dental x-ray is not suitable or sufficient.

What are the benefits of CBCT?

A dental CBCT scan is a fast, non-invasive and painless procedure. The images produced by this type of scan are more detailed and accurate than a normal CT scan, and the dentist has quick access to the results.

How long does a CBCT scan take?

The CBCT scan takes 10 to 20 seconds, however the computer usually takes a few minutes to reconstruct the data. Your Dentist will then spend time reviewing all the information.

For more information on dental CBCT - and for advice about an upcoming scan - contact your local National Dental Care Group practice. You can book an appointment online today.

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