Dental cone beam computed tomography (CT), or CBCT, is a special type of x-ray that is used when regular dental x-rays are not sufficient to give a dentist a good picture of a patient’s teeth. At Millennium Smiles in Frisco, TX, this technology is used to produce three-dimensional images of the teeth, soft tissues, nerve pathways, and bone in a single scan.
CBCT is not very commonly used because the radiation exposure from this scanner is considerably greater than from regular dental x-rays. However, it offers much more information in the image that it produces than regular 2D x-rays.
CBCT is commonly used for treatment planning of orthodontic issues. It can also be used for:
CBCT requires little to no special preparation. You will need to make sure that any metal objects, including jewelry, eyeglasses, dentures, bras containing metal underwire, piercings (if possible) and hairpins, will need to be left at home or removed prior to the scan. Hearing aids and dental work may also have to be removed. Tell your doctor if there is a possibility that you are pregnant. It is recommended that you wear loose, comfortable clothing; a gown may be supplied to you at the dentist office.
For the CBCT procedure, you will be asked to sit in the exam chair (or lie down on the exam table) so that your dentist or oral surgeon can easily position you to be centered in the beam. You will be asked to stay very still as the C-arm or gantry rotates around your head in a complete 360-degree rotation. As it moves, it captures multiple images from different angles. These images are later reconstructed to create a single 3D image. You won’t feel anything during the scan.
The scan takes 10 to 40 seconds to take, depending on the area being scanned. Your dentist, oral surgeon, or radiologist will then analyze the images and discuss the results with you and/or your physician.
For a more detailed look at the structures of your mouth, a CBCT scan may be helpful. Contact Millennium Smiles in Frisco, TX for more information.