Dental CT Scans ExplainedWhy Cone Beam CT Scans are the Bentley of Dental ImagingCone beam images not only provide undistorted and accurate views of the jaws, but it allows for different views such as cross-sectional, axial, coronal, sagittal and additional areas. It allows for accurate measurements to be taken and will determine the patient’s bone density.What are Dental CT ScansDental CT Scans are three-dimensional, high-resolution imaging that has become a necessity and reality in dentistry. With the advent of Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT), implants can be placed with unparalleled accuracy. Third molar surgery can be planned with precise knowledge of mandibular nerve location, and accurate diagnosis and treatment planning can now be accomplished at one time and in one location. Cone beam CT imaging has become the standard of care in oral surgical procedures, orthodontics, in implant dentistry and cosmetic facial surgery. What is Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT)?For many years dental professionals have relied on intraoral radiography, panoramic radiography, and conventional tomography for diagnosis and treatment planning. These commonly used imaging modalities produce only two-dimensional and/or distorted images with superimposition of structures outside the area of interest. There has always been a need for three-dimensional (3-D) imaging, but the technology has only recently become readily available. Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) uses a cone-shaped beam and digital processing to reconstruct a virtually distortion-free 3-D image using a single rotation in a sitting/standing position, similar to that of a panoramic radiograph. CBCT scanners are compact in size, capable of producing high-resolution 3-D imaging of hard tissues, and are compatible with computer-aided imaging software for improved diagnosis and treatment planning.Clinical applications of CBCT imaging•Implants - Implant planning and site development.•Extractions — helps determine location of nerves, sinus, and roots.•Orthodontia — jaw symmetry, configuration of roots, impacted canines.•Maxillofacial — orthognathic surgery, fractures, jaw pathology.•Periodontics — sinus augmentation, advanced grafting procedures, periodontal defects.•Endodontics — canal measurements, additional canals, configuration of root canals.•TMJ/TMD — detection of bony defects, asymmetry, spurs, condylar changes.•ENT specialists — sinus and airway studies.Benefits of CBCT imaging•Imaging exposes patients to less radiation than traditional CT scans.•The scan is fast and comfortable to the patient.•Reduction in metal artifacts.•One scan produces a volume of images that can be viewed and manipulated.•Clinicians can illustrate recommended treatment plans to patients using 3-D software.•No superimposition and minimal distortion.•Allows clinician to visualize internal anatomy that cannot be diagnosed externally.•Lower cost for patient when compared to traditional CT.•Enhanced communication with patients and colleagues.
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