Dr. med. dent Deniza Ianev
M.Sc. in Dental Prosthetics
Dentistry Inspired by Passion
Hünenbergerstrasse 2 6330 Cham
email: info@chamzahnarzt.ch
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3D imaging is transforming the way dentists collate information about your oral health. It’s also changing the way that Dr. Ianev here at Dental Praxis Cham gathers information and carries out dental procedures to improve your smile.

In the future you might be scheduled for a dental cone beam CT scan if you require a dental X-ray. Utilizing a cone beam CT scan provides you with an improved clinical experience, in addition to using only traditional x-raying methods. It’s a superior tool used to rapidly diagnose and work out a treatment plan regardless of your dental needs.

As this technology is relatively new, it’s natural to be curious about what a dental cone beam CT scan might entail. Don’t worry, these scans are painless and only take seconds. The following information will help you to learn more about what a dental cone beam CT scan is, the benefits of this cutting-edge 3D technology, and what you can expect.

What is a Dental Cone Beam CT Scan?

Dr. Ianev may have advised you that you need to have a cone beam scan. A dental cone beam CT scan, otherwise known as Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT), is a diagnostic scan that utilizes 3D dental imaging.

3D imaging is an impressive development in dental diagnostic technology and gives superior views over the usual 2D imaging technology. Using a computer, X-rays, and a single scan, Dr. Ianev will take high-quality 3D images of your soft tissue, gums, teeth and nerve pathways.  Dental cone beam CT scans provide clear 3D Images of the complexity of the maxillofacial region.  The scan collates images for a complete dental evaluation or review of a small section of your facial bones.

Dental Uses of Cone Beam 3D Imaging Scans
A cone beam 3D imaging scan provides the dentists with particularly detailed information that
can’t be obtained from regular X-rays. For instance, it enables dental professionals to assess the exact shape and thickness of your bones if you’re being considered for certain dental procedures, such as dental implants.

The impact that CBCT technology has had on dental imaging shouldn’t be underestimated. Dental cone beam 3D imaging enables the dentists to give a rapid and accurate diagnosis. They can then better prepare for your dental procedure.
Common uses for the dental cone beam CT scan include:

•   Preparing for tooth extractions.
•   Placing dental implants.
•   Planning some cosmetic dentistry and reconstructive procedures, such as inlays, onlays, crowns and veneers.
•   Determining tooth orientation.
•   Planning for root canals and bone grafts.
•   Diagnosing temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).
•   Detecting and treating jaw tumors.
•   Rapidly evaluation of the sinus, jaw and nasal cavity issues.

The Differences Between Dental Cone Beam Imaging and Traditional Dental X-Rays

CBCT scans give us a full view of the 3D structure, however, they are not used for diagnosing cavities. Traditional dental X-rays are still needed for cavity detection and are considered a standard of care. Both methods are equally important, serve different purposes, and are used in modern dentistry.

Traditional dental X-rays may not allow the Dr. Ianev to assess your bone accurately enough to treat you safely and she will recommend a CBCT scan.

Benefits of Dental Cone Beam Imaging

Conventional X-rays are flat, 2D pictures, that don’t provide the dentists with the best information for dental diagnostics and planning.  Dental CBCT scans are non-invasive, and a fast method of diagnosis. Other benefits include:

•   CT scanning is accurate and painless.
•   Focused X-ray beam results in improved image quality as it reduces scatter radiation.
•   Soft tissue and bone can be looked at simultaneously.  
•   One single scan provides your dentist with some angles and views that can then be manipulated to evaluate them.
•   Provides your dentist with far more information than a conventional X-ray for better treatment planning.
•   Radiation doesn’t remain in your body after your scan.
•   CBCT equipment is considerably smaller than conventional CT equipment.

What to Expect From Your Dental CBCT Scan

You shouldn’t anguish about what to expect from dental CBCT scan. You also don’t need to worry about being in an enclosed space like some other types of CT scans.

Depending on the exact type of scanner being used, you will either be asked to stand or sit in the exam chair. The dentist positions you so the area they wish to look at is centered in the beam. The machine rotates around your face and head. While the detector and X-ray source revolves around you, you’ll need to be very still. You’ll perhaps be asked to grasp the machine’s handles, so you stay in the same place and remain comfortable. For a full mouth X-ray, the actual CBCT scan examination takes only between 20 to 40 seconds to complete. A regional scan focusing on one particular area takes less than 10 seconds on average.
How to Prepare for a CBCT Scan

You must tell the dentists if there’s the possibility you’re pregnant. You don’t need to do anything special or different to your usual routine beforehand. You will usually need to wear a gown.

There are several items that you need to remove before your exam, including

•   Jewelry, including earrings
•   Dentures or other removable dental appliances
•   Hair pins
•   Eyeglasses
•   Hearing Aids

You may need to wear a piece of equipment called a scanning appliance during your scan if you’re having a CBCT scan to plan your dental implants. This is a special plate you wear much the same way as a denture. It contains markers that guide your examination and only needs to be worn during your scan.
To recap, the benefits of dental cone beam CT scans are:

   Advanced treatment planning. Your dental team can plan how they can treat your unique dental needs.
•   Improved diagnostic ability. Your dentist can easily see from a variety of angles and views for a better diagnosis.
•   Better patient education. You can look at your 3D images gain a better understanding of your condition.
•   Speediness. A full mouth scan typically takes about 20 seconds to acquire and seven minutes to reconstruct the images.
•   CBCT provides the ability to see images of your soft tissues and bones simultaneously.
•   Small doses of radiation. However, always inform the dentists if you’re pregnant.    
Keep in mind, there are some things digital X-rays are better for, and there are other things CBCT images are better for. Both are needed for state-of-the-art dentistry.

3D Imaging