Dentists and endodontists have relied on CAT scans for many years to help them see inside a tooth’s anatomy. More recently, however, they’ve begun relying on 3D imaging techniques like Cone Beam CT (CBCT) scans to give them a more detailed view of the mouth and skull. The advantage that 3D imaging holds over regular dental x-rays is that the bone structure, bone density, tissues, and nerves can be viewed clearly.
CBCT scans can be completed in less than half a minute, which means less radiation enters the body than if a regular set of bitewing x-rays were taken. Endodontists like Dr. Garland use CBCT scans to detect unusual root anatomy, abscesses, root fractures, and tumors of the jaw. He also uses CBCT scans before any type of surgical procedure to give him a clear understanding of the unique anatomy in the involved area of the jaw.
CBCT scans are advantageous because they allow dentists and endodontists to magnify specific areas of the jaw. In addition, they can easily view cross-sectional “slices” of the jaw, which makes planning treatment easier and faster. They also provide an accurate 3D image of the bone and teeth.
CBCT scans are quick and simple to perform. During the scan, you stand stationary while holding two handles, with your teeth resting on a bite plate. The cone beams then take hundreds of pictures of your face, which Dr. Garland uses to compile an exact 3D image of the inner mechanisms of the face and jaw.
The scanner provides an open environment, meaning that claustrophobic feelings are eliminated. The CBCT scan is an incredible tool that is minimizing the cost of dental treatment, reducing treatment time and enhancing the end results of dental surgery.