Traditionally, dentists and physicians have used 2-dimensional x-rays to diagnose patients’ problems and aid in treatment. With the advent of 3D cone beam CT (CBCT) images, has come a superior means by which to identify problems, plan treatment, deliver treatment, and avoid critical failures.
In the case of dentistry, CBCT has made it easier for doctors and patients to successfully deliver all types of dental care. In fact, there are so many advantages to using CBCT, that it is now considered the standard of care in many parts of the country.
This image shows how we can use 3D to see many different points of view. It also illustrates how focused we can make our x-ray beam to capture a 3D image in a small region of interest. Each square represents a possible field of view. Ultimately, CBCT imaging creates a safer experience for the patient.
We have used 3D CBCT in our clinic since 2007. We use it to identify pathology, plan and place dental implants, extract teeth, remove cysts, diagnose apnea, evaluate root canal challenges, and much more. IF we didn’t have CBCT, we wouldn’t be able to discover hidden pathology or pinpoint the source of challenging, undiagnosed pain.
Some patients worry about the radiation exposure that comes with CBCT. It is true that there is a larger total dose of radiation that comes with a helical CT (HCT). But with improvements in technology, we use specific CBCT machines that take an image at a fraction of the radiation dose compared to HCT. By limiting the field of view and also using a proprietary system that reduces the radiation for children and adults, we have found a way to reduce radiation by half the radiation dose from a traditional full-mouth series of traditional x-rays.