We’re excited to have received our state-of-the-art 3D dental CT scanner here at EverSmile Dentistry. Since opening our office we’ve been awaiting its arrival.
Our newest equipment is called the Dental Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CT) scanner, a specific type of x-ray equipment that we can use when regular dental or facial x-rays are not sufficient. This new equipment can product 3-D images of a patient’s teeth, soft tissues, nerve pathways and bone in just one scan, and will help us better understand and diagnose your dental health more precisely.
There is no pain involved in this procedure, and no special preparation needed for this scan, we just ask that you wear loose, comfortable clothing, and no jewelry, hairpins, eyeglasses, dentures, hearing aids, bras with metal underwires, piercings or any other metal objects. We may ask you to wear a gown.
How Does the Dental Cone Beam CT Work?
The Cone Beam CT is similar to a conventional CT that is normally administered at a radiology center, but is smaller and less expensive so we can afford to put it in our outpatient office. However, it still produces high-quality images similar to those from the larger CT scanners, with a lower radiation exposure.
With the Dental Cone Beam CT, an x-ray beam shaped like a cone is moved around the patient’s head via a C-arm or gantry in a complete 360-degree rotation to produce up to 150 to 200 high-quality 2-D images from all angles, called views. These 2-D images are them combined for form a 3-D image. The X-ray source and detector are mounted on opposite sides of the revolving arm and rotate in unison, and the patient is either sitting or reclining during the procedure that takes less than a minute to complete.
Reviewing the views, we can see detailed images of bone in order to evaluate diseases of the jaw, dentition, facial bony structures, nasal cavities and sinuses. One of the benefits is that it has the ability to image bone and soft tissue at the same time. However, this equipment is not quite as effective as the larger CT scanner in diagnosing soft-tissue structures like muscles, lymph nodes, glands and nerves. For those issues, we may refer you to a radiology center.
The Dental Cone Beam CT is most often used for orthodontic issues to assist in treatment planning, and for diagnosing and treatment planning for more complex dental issues including:
- Location of pain
- Impacted teeth
- TMJ or temporomandibular joint disorder
- Dental implants
- Jaw tumors
- Bone structure and tooth orientation
- Reconstructive surgery
CT scanning is most often used on adults. Because children are more sensitive to radiation, we reserve CT exams only when absolutely essential for making a diagnosis, and even then, perform the scan with a low-dose technique.
Make Your Regular Dental Appointment with EverSmile Dentistry
We are accepting new patients here in our Sterling, VA office and hope to see you soon. Please contact us today to set your appointment.