Dental cone beam computed tomography is a piece of x-ray equipment which is specially designed to be used when regular dental or facial x-rays do not suffice. Your dentist can utilize this equipment to create a 3-D image of your teeth, soft tissues, nerve pathways and bone structure in one single scan. It allows your dentist to get a clearer image of your oral state compared to regular x-rays.
An advantage of such a procedure is that your dentist can carry out the scan with little or no preparation. To prepare yourself, you should wear loose, comfortable clothing to put yourself at ease. You might also be asked to wear a gown for the scan. As with any procedure involving radiation, you should advise your dentist if you are pregnant. Your dentist will then be able to determine whether or not you are a suitable candidate for a dental cone beam scan.
A dental cone beam scan is not the same as a regular x-ray. However, the procedure can be used create images that are similar to those of a conventional scan. With a dental cone beam scan, an x-ray beam in the shape of a cone is moved around the patient’s mouth to produce a large number of images. The dental industry developed the dental cone beam scan as a more efficient way of collecting images from a patient. The images are small are less expensive. The machine itself can be placed in an outpatient office of dental practice.
A dental cone beam scan can produce detailed images of the whole facial area. It can investigate any disease and conditions in your face. For example, a scan is able to investigate disease of the jaw, facial bones and sinus conditions. It is also able to determine the condition of the soft tissue of the facial area including, lymph nodes, muscles, glands and nerves.
Dental cone beam scans are used for an array of procedures. It is especially useful for orthodontic treatments. Some common conditions it can address are:
Dental cone beam scanners are a square-shaped machine which is usually attached to a chair so the patient can sit down, or have a movable table so the patient can lie down during the procedure. If a patient is sitting down, the chair will have a C-arm, which is the source of the x-rays. If the patient is lying down, then the source of the x-ray comes from a gantry. As a patient, you will be asked to either sit down, or lie down on the table. Then, either the C-arm or the gantry will rotate for 360 degrees. The who scan will only take between 20 to 40 second. However, you will have to remain entirely still during the procedure as the scan will have to focus on particular areas of your mouth to determine an accurate picture.