Cone Beam CT
If you are considering where to have your dental implant or endodontic procedure, you need to understand the benefit of cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) for improving your procedure. It can make your procedure quicker, more comfortable, and virtually eliminate surprises during the procedure. You are also likely to see better results from a procedure performed with CBCT.
This page contains some technical information about CBCT that can help you understand the benefit, but if you’d rather talk to someone in person who can answer all your questions and explain the benefits in your case, please call us at (817) 481-6888 or email Grapevine Dental Care in Grapevine today.
Understanding Computed Tomography (CT)
CT is an imaging tool that has long been used in medicine. Traditional CT is similar to an x-ray, but instead of taking one picture like a conventional x-ray, it takes several, from different angles. These different pictures are then assembled by a computer into a 3-D image of your tissue.
The use of multiple images allows visualization of tissues that would be hidden in traditional x-rays. We can see things that might be blocked by metal fillings or other restorations, for example.
Cone Beam CT vs. Medical CT
CBCT is slightly different from the traditional CT scans used by most doctors. Because it takes its picture using a cone beam and from a different series of angles than traditional CT, it is better able to give us an improved volumetric model than traditional CT.
CBCT is also designed for imaging smaller areas, which allows it to give us better resolution. This is especially important in some applications like endodontics, where we don’t want to miss a small root canal.
Perhaps most importantly for your peace of mind, Cone Beam CT uses smaller radiation doses than most CT.
How CBCT Benefits You
CBCT is a powerful tool that makes dentistry better. Here are some of the ways it can help you.
Dental Implants: CBCT is especially important for dental implants. Without CBCT, exploratory surgery is often necessary to know the true state of your jawbone. This may mean that you need two surgeries to get your dental implants placed. Worse, even exploratory surgery can’t give the same level of detail as CBCT, so your dental implants may have a higher risk of poor placement.
CBCT allows us to determine the exact state of your jawbone before we begin surgery. This allows for precise placement of the dental implant, and it lets us know whether you need bone grafting, mini implants, or other procedures that can help get around the limitations of your jawbone.
Endodontics: Cone Beam CT lets us see all the details of your root canals. It means we can know exactly how many roots, where they are, and how large they are so that we can make sure we get them all properly filled during your procedure.
Without CBCT there is a real risk that a dentist may have to stop in the middle of an endodontic procedure and pack you off to a specialist to finish. Worse, a dentist could miss a root altogether, allowing infection to spread from there and cause the loss of a tooth the procedure was designed to preserve.
TMJ Treatment and Neuromuscular Dentistry: Cone Beam CT removes all the guesswork from TMJ treatment. It allows us to actually look at the configuration and condition of your temporomandibular joints, which can help us get you the best treatment for the exact cause of your TMJ.
Sleep Apnea: CBCT allows us to look at the configuration of your airway to determine whether you will benefit from oral appliance therapy, or whether CPAP is a better treatment option.