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 Cone Beam CT

Cone Beam 3-D technology has achieved new heights and has become the benchmark in dental imaging. Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) produces a highly accurate scan of the head and neck which is initially recorded in a DICOM file (Digital Imaging and Communication), and then is fed into a software program which depicts the anatomy of the patient in 3-dimensions. This can be visualized as a virtual reproduction that is accurate down to within a tenth of a millimeter (0.10 mm).

The CBCT scan can be accomplished either in the dental office, if 3-D imaging is available in the office, or at a site with 3-D dental imaging capability. The anatomy can be viewed in many different planes to provide a precise knowledge of the disposition of anatomical structures. These views enable the dentist to treatment plan for ideal placement of dental implants. It also enables the dentist to be able to select the most appropriate implant form, diameter and length

 Cone Beam Scan

Having a CT scan can assist your dentist in helping make a diagnosis so he/she can adequately treat your problem. A Cone Beam CT or CBCT scan is a Dental imaging device that combines the use of x-rays with computers to produce clear and extremely detailed 3-dimensional pictures of the body's internal structures.

Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) scanners have been available for craniofacial imaging since 1999 in Europe and more recently (2001) in the United States. The scanner uses a cone shaped x-ray beam rather than a conventional linear fan beam to provide images of the bony structures of the skull. Conventional medical scanners use a single row or a series (4, 8, 12, 32 and now 64) of solid state detectors paired with a fan shaped beam to capture the attenuated x-ray. CBCT scanners use a square 2 dimensional array of detectors to capture the cone shaped beam. As a result the medical scanner provides a set of consecutive slices of the patient while the CBCT scanner provides a volume of data. Subsequently reconstruction software is applied on the cone beam volumetric data to produce a stack of 2D gray scale level images of the anatomy.

The compact size and relatively low radiation dosage of the CBCT scanner makes it ideally suited for imaging the craniofacial region, including dental structures. With the increasing accessibility of CBCT imaging, this modality is emerging as the imaging "standard of care" for the number of diagnostic assessments of the bony components of the face.

I-CAT features an open environment seated position, a typical scan time of only 20 seconds or less, and significantly lower radiation doses compared to traditional CT scans. The result is a dramatic increase in patient comfort. In addition, the immediate three-dimensional reconstruction of a patient's mouth, face, and jaw areas enhances doctor/patient communication by allowing doctors to share a visual diagnosis with their patients. This gives patients a better understanding of their treatment options and more confidence when going into treatment. Dentists may prescribe a CBCT examination of the maxillofacial region for any of the following reasons:

  • Evaluation of the facial bones to assess the feasibility of placing dental implants at specific sites in the jaws. This ensures that every possible precaution has been made to reduce the risk of involvement of the nerves in the lower jaw, and the sinuses and nose in the upper jaw.
  • Evaluation of the status of previously placed implants
  • Evaluation of the hard tissue (bones) of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)
  • Evaluation of abnormalities (pathology) in or affecting the bones
  • Evaluate extent of alveolar ridge resorption
  • Assessment of relevant structures prior to orthodontic treatment such as the presence and position of impacted canine and third molar teeth
  • Assessing symmetry of the face (cephalometrics)
  • Assessing the airway space (sleep apnea)
  • To permit 3D reconstructions of the bones or the fabrication of a Biomodel of the face and jaws
  • Assessing the mandibular nerve prior to the removal of impacted teeth, especially the lower wisdom teeth

    Special Applications
  • Oral surgery
  • Implant planning
  • TMJ analysis
  • Orthodontic planning, implant anchorage
  • Cephalometric Analysis
  • Airway study (sleep apnea)
  • Jaw Tumor
  • Impacted teeth
   How does the CT scan help my Physician or Dentist?

   It allows him/her to:
  • Visualize internal anatomy that can not be diagnosed externally
  • Plan treatment and surgery
  • Prepare necessary aids
  • Assess risk
  • Analyze the position and orientation of critical structures, like nerves, teeth roots, previous implants, the sinus and nose.
  • Is it painful?
  • No, the CBCT scan process is completely painless.
  • Is it handicap-accessible?

   Why a CBCT scanner rather than a regular Medical CT    scanner?

  • X-Ray Radiation exposure to the patient is up 10 times less than a regular CT scanner.
  • Much faster scan time. Scan on a CBCT takes between 10-40 sec, while on a regular CT scanner it takes a few minutes.
  • Cheaper, average price of a CBCT scan could be up to 50% less than a regular MDCT scan.

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