What is a CBCT scan?
One tremendous advance in dentistry is the use of the CBCT scan. It is 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: the main trade-off is that using a cone-shaped beam gives us a less accurate picture of the soft tissues but with less radiation dose to the patient.
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 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?
If you are from another office, 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, and/or to a specialist called an Oral & Maxillofacial Radiologist for review.