Though digital scanning is a common practice in medical care, you may wonder why your dentist has recommended you have a CBCT or “iCAT” image taken of your teeth and oral structures. The truth is that CBCT scanning is a vital part of oral health diagnostics and oral and maxillofacial surgery treatment planning.
Cone Beam Computed Tomography, or CBCT, is a digital imaging method that provides a rapid and painless examination of your face, jaws, and teeth. Unlike conventional radiographic techniques, the CBCT creates a high-definition, extremely accurate series of 3D images. Compared to conventional medical CT scanning technology, these dental studies provide incredibly useful information at a fraction of the radiation exposure – comparable to that of a single airplane flight.
Patients undergoing routine surgical procedures sometimes require diagnostic imaging prior to surgery. We often use a CBCT image to determine the ideal placement of dental implants when a patient’s teeth have been missing for a long period of time, or where there is a question about the quantity or quality of jawbone structure available. A CBCT image is very helpful when wisdom teeth are severely impacted, as these scans allow for precise determination of the location of important nerves, sinuses, teeth, and teeth roots for the safest and most effective treatment results.