Cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) is a unique X-ray technology that enables dentists to take three-dimensional images of your teeth, jaws, and facial bones. At Mega Dental, we use this scanning technology in dental implant planning because these images allow our dentist to precisely map out the positioning of implants in your jaw. CBCT helps ensure the implants are appropriately placed when surgically implanted. This is why our dental implants are placed with surgical guides from 3D imaging rather than traditional placement methods that require the dentist to estimate or eyeball it.
Dental implant placement is complicated and requires a high degree of precision to ensure success and prevent future problems with treatment outcomes like teeth that fit together poorly, gum recession, damage to adjacent teeth, or other issues. The CBCT scan we use in our office is beneficial because it provides a clear image of your entire mouth and allows our team to determine the best action for your unique smile.
The Benefits of CBCT Scans
- Better accuracy for diagnosis through 3D viewing of your entire mouth and complete facial structures.
- A faster X-ray process because only specific areas are being scanned as opposed to traditional full-mouth X-rays.
- Less radiation than a traditional CT scan because the machine focuses directly on the area of interest rather than the entire body.
- An accurate model of your teeth that can be used to create a crown with the highest quality results possible.
- The ability to view specialized images of impacted teeth or jawbones in more detail.
- Excellent image resolution for review and analysis.
- Accurate imaging for endodontic treatments.
- Easy transfer of information to other medical professionals when necessary.
How Does CBCT Imaging Work?
The patient is positioned in a standing or sitting position, depending on the specific CBCT machine. The patient's head is typically stabilized using supports or straps to minimize movement during the imaging process. The CBCT machine emits a cone-shaped X-ray beam that rotates around the patient's head in a full or partial arc. The X-ray beam consists of a cone rather than a thin, focused beam like traditional X-rays, allowing it to capture more details.
Opposite the X-ray source, a detector captures the X-rays as they pass through the patient's head. The detector is comprised of sensors that measure the X-ray intensity after interacting with the tissues. As the X-ray source and detector rotate around the patient's head, multiple X-ray images are acquired from different angles. The number of images captured depends on the specific CBCT machine and imaging protocol.
The acquired X-ray images are then processed using advanced computer algorithms to construct a three-dimensional representation of the area of interest. These algorithms use mathematical calculations to convert 2D X-ray images into 3D volumetric images. Once the reconstruction process is complete, the resulting 3D image is displayed on a computer monitor. Dentists and oral healthcare professionals can use specialized software to manipulate and analyze images. They can zoom in, rotate, adjust the contrast and brightness, and examine specific structures or regions of interest in detail.
The 3D CBCT images provide valuable information for diagnosis and treatment planning. Visit Mega Dental at 10510 FM 1464 Suite 100, Richmond, TX 77407, or call (832) 930-7723 for the best dental care.