One tremendous advance in dentistry is the availability of CBCT. Because of the high cost of this technology, you may be referred in to our clinics from other offices that do not have the machine.
What is a CBCT scan?
It’s basically a three-dimensional radiograph, a “3D x-ray”. CBCT stands for “Cone Beam Computed Tomography”. You may have heard of a medical “CAT scan”; this is a similar technology, but using a cone-shaped beam allows us to get the information we need with significantly less radiation.
Why do I need one?
Dentists will prescribe a CBCT scan for a number of reasons. Sometimes we want to see a 3D image prior to surgery or implant placement for your safety. Other times we need to see the jaw joints, sinuses, or some unusual anatomy.
How much radiation will I be exposed to?
A full scan is about 34 microSieverts (μSv) of radiation. For comparison, we receive about 8μSv from the sun each day. A flight from New York to London would expose you to about 100μSv.
How long will it take?
There are a number of different scans, but a typical one lasts just under 9 seconds. You will have to remove any facial jewelry, hearing aids, and neck chains, and wait for a dentist to check that the scan is good, so if you are from an outside clinic, you will be in our clinic about fifteen minutes.
What happens to the information?
That depends on what your dentist has requested. Sometimes they will have us burn a copy on disk and send it back with you. Other times they will have us send it to them, or even to a specialist called an Oral & Maxillofacial Radiologist for review.