Cone Beam technology is a dental CAT scan that provides limitless information from a single scan allowing the dentist to see inside the facial structures that previously could not be seen. It has become an invaluable tool in our practice because of the vast number of applications used in all areas of dental medicine. It requires a fraction of the radiation of traditional CAT scans while giving much more information.
What does this mean to the dental patient? It means a more complete and better diagnosis.
A single scan can provide:
- Temporomandibular Joints (Jaw Joints) – Better examination of the anatomy of the joint and its pathology are some areas we can now examine and assess in a way that was very difficult before.
- Quality of Bone– This is important when doing implant dentistry since extremely accurate positioning of implants can be done using a Cone Beam scan. Scans in our office are an indispensable aid in determining anatomical structures as well as bone quality. We can actually make assessments of bone within 1/10 of a millimeter of accuracy from the scan. Bone quality can also be a tremendous aid in orthodontic treatment. Bone anatomy can be examined making orthodontic diagnosis and treatment options more predictable.
- Root Canal Treatment– The anatomy of teeth roots can be examined along with accurate measurements of root lengths for endodontic treatment.
- Airway Assessment– The anatomy of the entire upper respiratory airway can be viewed from a single Cone Beam scan. This includes the tonsils, adenoids, sinuses, nasal airway and nasal septum as well as the pharyngeal airway. This alone can be an indicator of possible sleep apnea problems and orthodontic related dysfunction.
- Wisdom Teeth Surgeries– The doctor can accurately check the position of vital structures before proceeding with removal of impacted wisdom teeth. This is helpful in avoiding potential post-operative problems. The Cone Beam can also help in determining the positioning of other teeth that may be impacted before surgery.
- 3-D Imaging – Three-dimensional models of the patient can be constructed using the computer to create an actual replica of the patient’s anatomical structures. These images can be rotated and moved in any plane of space giving the doctor a view of the patient that can be of great value in the treatment design phase.