Dental cone beam computed tomography (CT) is a special type of x-ray equipment used when regular dental or facial x-rays are not sufficient. Your doctor may use this technology to produce three dimensional (3-D) images of your teeth, soft tissues, nerve pathways and bone in a single scan.
This procedure requires little to no special preparation. Tell your doctor if there’s a possibility you are pregnant. Wear loose, comfortable clothing and leave jewelry at home. You may be asked to wear a gown.
Dental cone beam CT is commonly used for treatment planning of orthodontic issues. It is also useful for more complex cases that involve:
- surgical planning for impacted teeth.
- diagnosing temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).
- accurate placement of dental implants.
- evaluation of the jaw, sinuses, nerve canals and nasal cavity.
- detecting, measuring and treating jaw tumors.
- determining bone structure and tooth orientation.
- locating the origin of pain or pathology.
- cephalometric analysis.
- reconstructive surgery.
- The focused x-ray beam reduces scatter radiation, resulting in better image quality.
- A single scan produces a wide variety of views and angles that can be manipulated to provide a more complete evaluation.
- Cone beam CT scans provide more information that conventional dental x-ray, allowing for more precise treatment planning.
- CT scanning is painless, noninvasive and accurate.
- A major advantage of CT is its ability to image bone and soft tissue at the same time.
- No radiation remains in a patient’s body after a CT examination.
- X-rays used in CT scans should have no immediate side effects.