To better explain what Cone Beam CT (CBCT) is, we should first explain what regular CT is:
Computed tomography (CT) imaging, also referred to as a computed axial tomography (CAT) scan, involves the use of rotating x-ray equipment, combined with a digital computer, to obtain images of the body. Using CT imaging, cross sectional images of body organs and tissues can be produced. Though there are many other imaging techniques, CT imaging has the unique ability to offer clear images of different types of tissue. CT imaging can provide views of soft tissue, bone, muscle, and blood vessels, without sacrificing clarity. Other imaging techniques are much more limited in the types of images they can provide.
CT imaging is commonly used for diagnostic purposes. In fact, it is a chief imaging method used in diagnosing a variety of diseases, including those affecting the lungs, pancreas, and liver. CT has been used for several years in medicine, and now the technology is being harnessed to provide better imaging for dentistry, allowing us to provide our patients the highest quality of care.
So, what exactly is Cone Beam CT?
In layman’s terms, CBCT is a compact, faster and safer version of the regular CT. Through the use of a cone shaped X-Ray beam, the size of the scanner, radiation dosage and time needed for scanning are all dramatically reduced.
The Vatech CBCT scanner fits compactly into our office structure and is easily accessible by patients. The time needed for a full scan is typically under 15 seconds and the radiation dosage is up to a hundred times less than that of a regular CT scanner.
Is it painful?
No, the Vatech CBCT scan process is completely painless.
What does our CBCT equipment look like?
Our Vatech CBCT scanner is a tall, somewhat slender machine. You will stand (or in some cases sit upright) while a C-arm rotates around your head. Within the arm there is an X-ray source and detector (X-ray receiver), which will make one complete 360° rotation for each scan. While the arm is rotating, it is capturing multiple images of your head from different angles. These images are then reconstructed to create a 3D image of your internal anatomy.
How does the CT scan help our Staff?
It allows our staff to:
- Visualize internal anatomy that can not be diagnosed externally
- Plan treatment and surgery, including Implants
- Prepare necessary aids
- Assess risk and possible pathology and disease
- Analyze the position and orientation of critical structures, like nerves, teeth roots, previous implants, the sinuses and nose, and airway passages
What are the CBCT Scans used to diagnose and treat?
- Oral surgery
- Implant planning
- Orthodontic planning & implant anchorage
- Cephalometric analysis
- TMJ analysis
- Airway study (sleep apnea)
- Jaw tumors
- Impacted teeth
- Periodontal diseases
- Endodontic anomalies
Why a CBCT scanner rather than a regular Medical CT scanner?
- X-Ray Radiation exposure to the patient is up 10 times less than a regular CT scanner.
- Much faster scan time. Scan on a CBCT takes between 10-40 sec, while on a regular CT scanner it takes a few minutes.
- Cheaper, average price of a CBCT scan could be up to 50% less than a regular MDCT scan.
What are the benefits?
- Unlike regular x-rays CT scans can discriminate between many types of tissue including bone, teeth, nerves and soft tissue.
- CT scans are noninvasive, and can eliminate the need for exploratory surgery in some cases.
- CT can identify the effects of conditions such as infection and tumors.
- A cost effective tool for imaging a wide range of clinical problems