There are advancements in dental technology that has allowed for better and more efficient solutions for patients. One of them is the progress in digital imaging that can provide more accurate inspection of the teeth.
The Dental Cone Beam CT (Computed Tomography), is a dental imaging equipment that is more advanced than the conventional X-ray. It can create 3D imaging of the teeth, bone, soft tissues and nerve pathways in one scan. The cone beam is moved around the mouth to produce multiple images with high-quality resolution. It is like a CT scan but on a smaller and less expensive machine. And since it is small, the radiation exposure is also minimal.
A dental cone beam CT procedure is beneficial in many situations. It can assist in evaluating the condition of a patient’s jaw, bone structures of the face, nasal cavity and sinuses. It is commonly used for patients who plan to wear braces or have their teeth aligned as it allows careful planning for the movement of the teeth.
The procedure can also be used in planning for more advanced cases such as removal of impacted teeth, diagnosing TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder), placing dental implants, treatment of jaw tumors, reconstructive surgery and more.
Just like an X-ray procedure, one should wear comfortable clothing in a scan session. Also, inform the specialist if you are pregnant. All metal objects that could obstruct with the image should be removed; such as eyeglasses, earrings, hairpins, and dentures.
Once you are cleared for the scanning, you will be asked to sit on a chair or lay down on an examination table. The procedure can take from 10 to 40 seconds. Once the results are released, the radiologist or your dentist will be the one to interpret the results to you.