Physicians have relied on computerized axial tomography scans (CAT) for many years. CAT scans are an X-ray procedure that uses many different X-ray images with the help of computers to generate cross-sectional and 3D views of internal organs and structures within the body.
More recently oral surgeons have begun to rely on 3D imaging techniques called a Cone Beam Imaging System (CBCT) to provide them with a detailed view of the mouth and related structures. The advantage that 3D (CBCT) imaging holds over regular dental x-rays is that bone structure, bone density, tissues, and nerves can be viewed clearly.
CBCT scans can be completed in less than half a minute and are performed in Dr. Auletta's office. This means that far less radiation enters the body than if a regular set of complete dental X-rays were taken. The main use for a CBCT scan is as an aid to plan dental implant treatment and other oral surgery procedures.
How is the CBCT scan used?
A CBCT scan is advantageous because it will magnify specific areas of the face. In addition, Dr Auletta can easily view cross-sectional “slices” of the jaw, which makes planning treatment easier and faster.
Here are some of the main ways in which a CBCT scan is used in oral surgery:
How is a CBCT scan performed?
Assess the quality of the jawbone where the implant will be placed.
Determine where nerves are located.
Diagnose tumors and disease in the early stages.
Measure the density of the jawbone where the implant will be placed.
Pinpoint the most effective placement for implants, including the angle of best fit.
Plan the complete surgical procedure in advance, from start to finish.
Precisely decide on the appropriate size and type of implants.
View exact orientation and position of each tooth.
View impacted teeth.
A CBCT scan is quick and simple to perform. Its done in the office at the time of your consult. A Cone Beam Imaging System is at the heart of the CBCT scanner. During the scan, the patient stands stationary in the scanner, just as one does for a Panographic X- Ray. The cone beams are used to take literally hundreds of pictures of the face. These pictures are used to compile an exact 3D image of the area in question. Dr. Auletta is able to zoom in on specific areas and view them from different angles.
If you have questions or concerns about 3D imaging, please contact our office.