We’re fortunate to live in a world where medical and dental technology continues to break new ground every year. The invention of computed tomography (CT) imaging laid the foundation for cone-beam CT, an X-ray beam in the shape of a cone that provides detailed images of the jaw, dentition, nasal cavity, sinuses, and the facial bone and hard tissue structures. The cone-beam CT (CBCT) offers multiple benefits for both practitioners and patients.
How Cone Beam CTs Work
One of the most exciting medical diagnostic methods available, cone-beam CTs enable endodontists to develop 3D images instead of the 2D images created by regular X-rays. The images are of better quality than standard X-ray images because the process helps to reduce scatter radiation. A single scan can create a wide variety of views, including simultaneously taking images of bone and soft skin tissue.
An Accurate, Painless Process
The CBCT scan process is painless, non-invasive, and highly accurate and leaves no radiation on the patient afterward to cause side effects. Cone-beam CT images offer a valuable understanding of what’s happening in a patient’s mouth, which allows for more accurate diagnoses.
Cone-beam CTs enable dentists to plan treatment options effectively, including:
· Planning Endodontic Treatment
Endodontists can determine whether a tooth root is infected and whether (or where) a root canal procedure is required.
· Potential Extractions
A CBCT scan shows whether a patient has any teeth need extracting and enables the practitioner to plan the extraction surgery.
Assessing Post-Operative Results
After placing implants, the dental practitioner can use CBCTs to determine whether the mouth is healing after the implant or whether additional steps need to be taken.
· Locating the Inferior Alveolar Nerve
CBCT technology enables dentists to locate and protect the inferior alveolar nerve before oral surgery, root canal procedures, or dental implant placements. Injury to this nerve typically causes patients noticeably reduced quality of life, so protecting it is paramount.
· Identifying Odontogenic Lesions
CBCT can identify any lesions, cysts, or tumors that may exist in a patient’s mouth. Knowing their location can help in diagnosing and treating the lesions.
· Recognizing Pathological Risks
A CBCT shows whether the patient has any concerns about disease and determines if more investigation is needed.
· Spotting the Sinuses
Some dental pain can radiate from the sinuses. The CBCT can identify it and view the sinus to select and offer the correct diagnosis and treatment.
· Visualizing TMJ issues
Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome is a painful condition that develops when the joint connecting the jaw to the skull gets injured. A CBCT enables the dental professional to view the injury and decide on the right treatment option.
· Checking Osteoarthritic Changes
A CBCT helps endodontists get a good look at the patient’s bone structure to monitor changes in the bone composition.
· Assessing the Patient’s Apnea Risk
Dental professionals treating patients with sleep apnea use CBCT scans to detect the airway and determine whether a snoring device or mouth guard could be helpful.
The broad functionality and options offered by CBCT scans enable dental practitioners to deliver the very best care to patients. At Professional Endodontics, we believe taking care of your teeth is vital for long-lasting good health. That’s why we provide access to CBCT technology for our patients and the dental practices that partner with us.
Contact us today to learn more about what this technology can do for you.