Cone Beam Computer Tomography (CBCT) Scanner – Colchester, VT
3D Imaging for Precise Diagnoses and Treatment
We often use digital X-rays to give us insight into a patient’s oral health. In some cases, however, those X-rays do not provide us with the type of images we need to diagnose complicated problems and precisely plan complex treatments. That is where our advanced cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) scanner comes into play. This remarkable piece of machinery helps us to provide our patients with the best treatment possible.
What Is the CBCT Scanner? How Does It Work?
Basically, the CBCT scanner is special type of X-ray machine. It uses cone-shaped beams of radiation to capture images as it rotates around a patient’s head. The machine’s unique cone-shaped rays enable it to render extremely detailed, three-dimensional images. Not only do the images show us a patient’s bone structure and dentition, but they also let us look at soft tissues and nerve pathways throughout the craniofacial region.
If we recommend that you undergo a CBCT scan, you have nothing to be nervous about. The scanning process is painless, noninvasive, and fast. In fact, it may take just 10 – 40 seconds (depending on the size of the area we are scanning). The radiation dose of a CBCT is the equivalent of 11 days of natural exposure in the environment. In comparison, a necessary CT scan of the abdomen produces the equivalent of 3 years of exposure. That means that an abdominal CT scan requires a radiation dose that is 99% greater than the image we take! You do not need to do anything special to prepare for the scan, although we recommend that you leave jewelry, hairpins, and other items that might interfere with the scan at home.
When Do We Use the CBCT Scanner?
We do not routinely perform CBCT scans because in most cases, a regular X-ray provides us with adequate information about our patients’ oral health. However, we might recommend a CBCT scan if:
- You are suffering from TMJ disorder. The scan may help us pinpoint the cause of your discomfort and prescribe a TMJ therapy that will bring you relief as quickly and reliably as possible.
- You are going to receive dental implants. CBCT scans help our dentist digitally plan exactly where in your jaw the implants should be placed in order to make sure your new smile has the greatest chance of success possible.
- You need root canal therapy. A CBCT scan allows us to evaluate the extent of the damage or infection within your tooth and the surrounding tissue. We will thus know what to expect when we perform your root canal therapy.
The CBCT scanner is just one example of the advanced technology our team uses to provide our patients with comfortable and effective dental treatment. To learn more about our dental office and the ways in which we use technology to our advantage, contact us today.