• Dr. Johnson Ozgur

Visualizing the Invisible with Cone-beam Computed Tomography

Dental imaging evolves with technological innovation. In the 21st century, cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) is the go-to dental imaging technology for general and cosmetic dentistry.

What is a CBCT Test?

Cone-beam Computed Tomography or CBCT test is a specialized type of dental imaging that uses cone-shaped x-ray beams. This system creates detailed three-dimensional (3D) images of the teeth, oral and maxillofacial region, ears, nose, and throat. With CBCT, your Toronto dentist can scan, visualize, and analyze facial bones, soft tissues, and nerve pathways to determine potential dental issues. CBCT comes in handy in situations where traditional computed tomography (CT) dental x-rays are not sufficient. In addition, it is now an invaluable tool for radiology in dental implantology, endodontics, and other procedures.

Here is everything you need to know about CBCT for dentistry:

What is the difference between CT and CBCT?

CBCT is a variation of traditional CT machines. The main difference between CT and CBCT scans is how they work. A CT scan uses rotating fan-shaped x-ray beams and requires patients to move toward the machine. On the other hand, CBCT's cone-shaped area detector allows for imaging without the need for movement. In addition, CT scanners use high-output anode x-ray tubes, while CBCT utilizes low-power fluoroscopy tubes. This technology allows a CBCT scanner to generate high-quality images with lower doses of radiation than a traditional CT scan.

What does a dental CBCT show?

The main advantage of CBCT is its ability to visualize the unseen. CBCT images show more information than traditional periapical radiographs. With a single CBCT scan, your dentist can analyze tooth decay, bone loss, temporomandibular joint irregularities, impacted teeth, abnormal growths, facial fractures, and more. Does CBCT show infection? Yes, it does. A CBCT scan can detect periodontal infections and teeth infections or abscesses early enough before they become problematic.

Advantages and Disadvantages of CBCT in Dentistry

Both CBCT scanners and traditional CT systems are used in dentistry for scanning and imaging. However, CBCT x-rays offer more benefits and fewer disadvantages than CT scans.

What are the advantages of CBCT?

  • Cone-beam computed topography has lower radiation exposure than CT scans.