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What is Cone Beam CT 3D Imaging?

The best way to explain this is to briefly explain what a regular CT is. Computed tomography (CT) imaging, also known as computed axial tomography (CAT) scan, uses rotating x-ray equipment and a digital computer to obtain images of the body, giving medical and dental professionals the ability to view soft tissue, bone, muscle, and blood vessels without sacrificing clarity. Cone Beam CT imaging, is a smaller version of a CAT scan. In our office, the Cone Beam CT scanner is able to adjust to the height of any patient. While standing, clasps will gently keep your head in place to minimize movement. As the scanner rotates around your head, the x-ray source and detector in the arm will capture multiple images of the head in different angles and will reconstruct the images to create one 3D image. The Cone Beam CT scanner is a smaller and more compact machine compared to a regular CT scanner, and, because of its size, x-ray exposure is up to 100x less than a regular CT and takes 10-40 seconds to take a 3D image. 

This allows the dentist to: 

  • View the internal anatomy that cannot be diagnosed externally
  • Clearly discriminate the different types of tissue, including bone, teeth, nerves and soft tissue
  • Make a better diagnosis resulting in a more accurate treatment plan and helps the planning of necessary surgeries
  • Prepare the necessary aids such as surgical stents for computer guided implant placement
  • Better assess risks and analyze the position and orientation of critical structures, such as nerves, teeth roots, previous implants, and the sinus and nose

How does this benefit you?

  • Painless examination
  • Noninvasive process which can help eliminate the need for exploratory surgery in some cases
  • Cost effective for imaging a wide range of clinical problems

Are there any risks?

Because this is still an x-ray, you are still exposing your body to ionizing radiation. However, the benefit of providing useful information is needed in order to assist in making an accurate diagnosis and/or facilitating treatment. We believe in providing the best dental care for you using the latest dental technology. When we assess you for an x-ray examination, Dr. Noriesta has made the determination that the benefit outweighs the risks. Of course, it is ultimately up to you to decide to undergo the examination.