Why are CBCTs helpful?


Cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) is a relatively new imaging technology and has been used in the USA since about 2001. It is a medical imaging technique where the X-rays are diverging to form a cone. This technology allows a very precise 3D image that is perfect for the dental field. They are usually much smaller and have significantly less radiation than the traditional medical CT images. The volumetric data is acquired and is reconstructed by the software allowing a true 3D reconstruction of the patient.

Having a 3D reconstruction of the entire facial skeleton can be extremely helpful when planning orthodontic care for our patients! Below are a few of the ways that this technology allows us to do a better job at creating your best smile:

Orthognathic Surgery:
We use CBCT and digital scanning to help plan every jaw surgery case. This gives us a wealth of information and allows us and your oral surgeon to plan our surgery from the very beginning to ensure we are able to achieve the best result for you. Having a 3D image of the facial structure allows us to have a great understanding of any asymmetries and be able to make very precise measurements down to hundredths of millimeters. We also use this image to plan and manufacture 3D printed surgical guides to help ensure precise and efficient surgeries that give predictable outcomes and minimize recovery times and symptoms.

Tooth Position and Missing Teeth:
While 2D radiographs are helpful and have improved greatly, a two dimensional image has its shortcomings and can have artifacts from the compression of a 3D object into a 2D image. Below is an example of the difference and how much we are able to see! Having an accurate method of seeing and diagnosing dental and orthodontic issues allows us to develop better plans with more certainty!