CBCT technology was introduced into our office in July 2015 and represents the most significant advancement in endodontic therapy and microsurgery since the introduction of the surgical microscope over 20 years ago.
CBCT imaging allows Dr. Avilés to see a 3-D image of the tooth and surrounding bone and tissue, and diagnose and treat disease that could not be seen with regular dental x-rays. The ability to render low-volume, low-radiation, 3-D imagery enables Dr. Avilés to provide you, the patient, with exceptional treatment and diagnosis of complex issues.
What exactly is a CBCT?
CBCT is short for Cone Beam Computed Tomography. The CBCT machine produces minimal radiation, and is a safer, faster and more compact version of the regular CT machines found in hospitals and imaging centers. Basically, it gives us the capability to visualize your tooth in 3 dimensions. The CBCT scan provides images of the tooth divided into about 500 small x-ray pictures: each one is a slice. We are then able to reconstruct an internal view of the tooth using one or more of the slices. The image can then be rotated on a computer screen and viewed from any angle. The information gained from our 3D technology gives us many advantages and aids in the successful treatment of your tooth.
How long does the scan take?
The CBCT takes approximately 8-10 seconds to scan the desired area. After the scan is finished, it only takes a few minutes to configure the images. The scan is then ready to be viewed on the computer screen or copied onto a disc.
What is the risk of exposure?
The amount of radiation from our CBCT scan is equivalent to 2 days of background radiation we experience in everyday life. Due to its size, the amount of radiation from the CBCT is drastically less than that of the larger CT scan you would have in a hospital setting. The CBCT uses a cone-shaped x-ray beam to isolate the target area and limit secondary exposure to other areas. A protective apron is always worn during the CBCT scan to limit radiation to the rest of the body.
Why would a CBCT Scan need to be taken?
- Previous Root Canal Therapy – Generally, a CBCT scan is done in cases where a tooth has been previously treated with root canal therapy but may need further evaluation. It is possible that a tooth may need re-treatment of a root canal due to a variety of reasons. In previous years, dentists did not have the use of digital x-rays or high-powered microscopes during root canal treatment. Due to this lack of technology, canals inside the tooth were often missed and subject to reinfection.
- Calcified Canals – When a tooth is calcified it may be difficult for the dentist to see the canals on a standard 2-dimensional x-ray. The CBCT scan makes it possible for the dentist to navigate within the root canal system.
- CBCT scans may also be performed if Dr. Avilés suspects that the tooth has an unusually high number of internal canals or abnormal anatomy.
- Traumatic Injury – In addition to the 2-dimensional x-rays, the CBCT scan can be very helpful in teeth that have suffered traumatic injury.
What does this mean for me as a patient?
CBCT technology means we will be better able to diagnose, identify and treat your dental issues than with traditional x-rays alone. This results in fewer procedures, less cost, and less downtime after care. Your comfort is a top priority for us and 3-D imaging allows us to determine the best course of treatment before we even begin.