If you visit the dentist for routine visits every six months for professional teeth cleaning, then you’re familiar with how these visits go. But at other appointments, you might require a CBCT scan. What is it, and why do you need one?
When you visit us at K Street Dental & Orthodontic Group, our dental team performs a CBCT scan for various reasons. Let’s first look at what a CBCT scan can do.
Understanding a CBCT scan
A CBCT is 3D cone beam tomography, which is imaging technology that gives us an up-close look at a wide range of things when it comes to your oral health — your teeth, jaws, face, cleft palate, cavities, endodontic issues, or any kind of dental trauma.
It allows us to see your underlying bone structure, nerve pathways, and the surrounding tissues.
When you might need a CBCT scan
We typically recommend a CBCT scan if you’re considering a dental implant as an option to replace a missing tooth. It helps us see issues, such as:
- Tooth decay
- Abnormal growths
- Bone loss
- Facial fractures
- Temporomandibular joint irregularities
- Periodontal infections
- Tooth root or dental pulp problems
If we determine you have any of the above, we need to address them before moving forward with a dental implant.
You may also need a CBCT scan to see the positioning of impacted teeth, and it can be used for orthodontic purposes, too.
What to expect during a CBCT scan
Getting a CBCT scan is a quick, easy, and painless process that takes a minute or less.
During the scan, you simply sit comfortably in a special dental chair while an X-ray arm rotates around your head. To keep your head still during the imaging process, we have you rest it against part of the machine to stabilize your positioning.
The imaging machine moves around your head while capturing about 150-200 images from several different angles. Then those images are compiled into a single 3D image.
Once your scan is complete, you’re free to get up out of the chair.
Benefits of a CBCT scan
While CBCT scans do use radiation, they use much less radiation than a traditional CT scanner. A CBCT scan also provides a much clearer, more precise image than digital X-rays, giving us an entire picture of your oral and craniofacial health so we can create personalized treatment plans.
There’s no doubt that the benefits of CBCT scanners are a weighing factor in their growing popularity.
To learn more about CBCT scans and to book an appointment, call our office in Washington, DC, at 202-315-0856, or message us by clicking here.