What is a CBCT Scan
A CBCT scan, also called cone beam computerized tomography, is a three-dimensional x-ray technique that is like medical CT scans. CBCT scans are primarily used to visualize bony structures and teeth, not soft tissues such as your tongue and gums.
Advantages of a CBCT scan
CBCT examinations provide a 3D image, which may be used for the diagnosis and treatment planning, for endodontic treatment, dental implants and surgery. By using a CBCT, we have an enhanced ability to understand conditions that can be missed on a conventional x-ray.
CBCT scans, like conventional x-rays, expose you to radiation. There are certain inherent and potential risks from x-rays. The dose is approximately the same as the following U.S. background radiation dose equivalents: 1 day for upper teeth, 3 days for lower front teeth and 5 days for lower back teeth. An alternative to a CBCT scan are conventional dental x-rays, however, they have the limitations previously noted.
CBCT scans are generally NOT recommended for pregnant women because of possible danger to the fetus. Please advise us as to your pregnancy status prior to your exam.
Diagnosis of non-dental conditions
While parts of your anatomy beyond your mouth and jaw may be seen on the scan, we are neither physicians nor radiologists and will not make assessments concerning your anatomy beyond your mouth or jaw. If the report raises a question as to something unusual outside the specific area of your mouth or jaw, we may refer you to a physician or radiologist for an evaluation. In such an event, our office can place the image on a CD. You should also understand that CBCT scans cannot be relied upon to show soft tissue lesions, unless they have caused changes in your hard tissues (teeth or bone). Also, CBCT images may contain artifacts that can make interpretation difficult.