Dental Tomography

DIGITAL DENTISTRY

Dental Tomography (3D) X-Ray

Cone Beam Computed Tomography

Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) is a form of CT scan that combines rotating X-ray and computer technology to obtain cross-section images of the body, or in the case of dentistry, of the jaw bone and teeth. Typically used for diagnostic purposes, CT scans are often conducted to diagnose cancer as they can illustrate minute differences in soft and hard tissue with the added benefit that they are non-invasive, thereby saving the patient the trauma of exploratory surgery. A Cone Beam Computed Tomography scan uses a cone-shaped X-ray beam to complete the scan in a single rotation as opposed to a regular CT scan, which uses a fan-shaped, helical X-ray beam in an arc around the patient.

Advantages of CBCT

CT scans provide a much more detailed image of the targeted anatomy than other scans. While a normal X-ray only shows bone, and an MRI only shows blood vessels and soft tissue, a CT shows a clear 3D image of bone, blood and soft tissue. The cone beam CT scan possesses an advantage over a normal CT scan as the cone-shaped X-ray beam ensures that the patient spends less time being exposed to radiation, while the scanner is also smaller. The scanning time typically lasts less than a minute, while the radiation dose is also more than 10 times less than a normal CT scan.  

Risks

The equipment emits ionising radiation, presenting some risk. However, as noted above, the risk associated with cone beam technology is significantly less than that of a standard CT scan.