With the computer age upon us, new technology is available to allow monitoring, diagnosis, and treatment of dental problems to become faster, easier, and more thorough. Today, 3-D cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) is one such advancement that has become available to clinical dental practitioners in the last decade.
The use of 3-D cone beam technology allows dental professionals to image the head or skull area to the third dimension. Cone-beam computed tomography systems (CBCT) are a variation of traditional computed tomography (CT) systems. The CBCT system rotates around the patient, capturing data using a cone-shaped X-ray beam. This data is used to reconstruct a three-dimensional (3D) image of the following regions of the patient’s anatomy: dental (teeth); oral and maxillofacial region (mouth, jaw, and neck); and ears, nose, and throat (“ENT”).
Dental CBCT 3D X-Rays are used for various dental clinical applications including dental implant planning, visualization of abnormal teeth, evaluation of the jaws and face, cleft palate assessment, diagnosis of dental caries (cavities), endodontic (root canal) diagnosis, and diagnosis of dental trauma. Dental CBCT images provide three-dimensional (3-D) information, rather than the two-dimensional (2-D) information provided by a conventional X-ray image.