Cone Beam CT: A Modern Advance In Dental Imaging
Most patients are familiar with dental x-rays as a method of evaluating oral health, but there are times when regular x-rays are not enough. Cases of unexplained pain or long-term complications may require more in-depth investigation. For these situations, Drs. Chan Wilkhu and Mark Moffitt of Smile More Dentistry have invested in a cone beam CT scan (CBCT) on hand at Smile More Dentistry in Merritt Island, FL. This advanced system produces a 3-D representation of the oral cavity, allowing the dentists to more accurately visualize and diagnose your condition.
What to Expect during a CT Scan
Because a CBCT scan is essentially a more advanced form of a typical x-ray, you do not have to undergo any special preparation before the test. However, you will have to take off any metal objects that could interfere with the scanner, such as your watch, jewelry, glasses, hearing aids, or removable dentures.
It takes about 20 to 40 seconds to capture the entire mouth and dental structure.
For the scan, you will be asked to either sit or stand inside the machine. This type of scanner has a long arm that can rotate completely around your head. As it does so, multiple images are taken of your head and neck, which are compiled together to form a single 3-D image. It takes about 20 to 40 seconds to capture the entire mouth and dental structure. If the doctor is only looking at one specific area, the process can take as little as 10 seconds. The scan is pain-free and you will be free to resume normal activities as soon as you are finished.
How We Use Cone Beam CT Scans
Much like a typical CT scan, a CBCT scan is used to reconstruct your mouth, facial features, head, and neck. This technology has a wide range of applications. With it, your dentist can:
- Design a treatment plan for dental implants
- Visualize teeth that are impacted in the jawbone
- Evaluate the nasal cavity, sinuses, nerves, and jaw
- Assess the volume and density of the jawbone
- Detect tumors in the jaw
- Locate the origin of discomfort
Once your dentist has a complete diagnosis, they will be able to develop a treatment plan.
Benefits of Cone Beam CT Scans vs. Older Technology
While the CBCT scanner does emit more radiation than regular x-rays, this drawback is balanced out by many other benefits. The first and most obvious is the quality of the image. The CBCT reduces scatter radiation and can produce 150 to 200 high-resolution images in seconds for optimal visibility, resulting in significantly greater image clarity.
Furthermore, the shape of the arm allows the scanner to capture a wider variety of angles and views, which is especially helpful for hard-to-see places. The images captured are more precise so your doctor is better able to decide on a course of treatment. Finally, a CBCT scan is non-invasive, completely painless, and should have no lasting side effects.
Take Advantage of Advanced Technology
Smile More Dentistry takes pride in providing a safe environment in which our team works with patients to treat individual needs. We utilize some of the latest technology in our state-of-the-art facility, including cone beam CT scanning, in order to provide the best dental care possible. We accept most insurance plans and major credit cards. We will also work with you to obtain financing, including CareCredit® payment plans. Go online to today to schedule an appointment or call (321) 459-2444.