Cone-beam 3D Imaging

In dentistry and health care as a whole, there has been significant advances in imaging studies available. The cutting edge of oral surgery especially in regards to dental implants has been to use a 3D imaging modality. Before medical grade CT or “CAT” scan was necessary to be able to make accurate measurements in 3 dimensions and plan difficult surgeries or visualize vital structures. Currently there is a much easier, cost effective, and lower radiation way which provides us with much more vital information than standard 2D or film xrays.Cone beam CT or CBCT uses a “cone shaped” xray beam instead of a “fan shaped” beam. In other words information can be captured in 2 dimensions instead of one. Therefore more information is obtained faster with a lower radiation dose in multiple dimensions.

For our purposes, CBCT shows the teeth and bone very well in 3 dimensions and we can make accurate measurements to help determine (amongst other things):

  • Bone volume available for implant placement

  • Plan multiple for complex implant surgeries virtually for surgical guide fabrication

  • Identify bone defects and plan for reconstruction or grafting

  • Visualize proximity to vital structures such as nerves or sinuses in the area of interest

  • Measure cysts, growths, or lesions in the jaws

  • Plan various surgeries like orthognathic (jaw) surgery virtually on the computer

  • Locate or identify location of impacted teeth in relationship the facial skeleton

  • Perform airway analysis for obstructive sleep apnea patients

  • Visualize changes in TMJ (temporomandibular joint) anatomy

  • Diagnose facial fractures and reconstruct the face in 3 dimensions

As are concerned for x-ray or radiation doses as you are, CBCT can be a very low dose imaging modality when compared to medical imaging. Since it has come onto the market, the dosages are progressively decreasing. We are concerned with your well being as you are!

Our CBCT scanner dosage on a regular setting to scan a jaw (upper or lower) is about 95 µSv (microsievert) ( source: )

Common other radiation dosages:

  • Coast-to-coast round trip flight in an airplane: 30 µSv

  • Standing outside for 10 days: 100 µSv

  • Chest xray: 100 µSv (about the same as our CBCT)

  • Mammogram: 400 µSv

  • CT head (obtained after a head injury/concussion): 2,000 µSv

  • CT Abdomen/Pelvis: 10,000 µSv