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CBCT

Cone-Beam Computed Tomography-(CBCT)

Cone-beam computed tomography systems (CBCT) are a variation of traditional computed tomography (CT) systems. The CBCT systems used by dental professionals rotate around the patient, capturing data using a cone-shaped X-ray beam. These data are used to reconstruct a three-dimensional (3D) image of the following regions of the patient’s anatomy: dental (teeth); oral and maxillofacial region (mouth, jaw, and neck); and ears, nose, and throat (“ENT”).

Why it’s done

What are some common uses:

  • Surgical planning for impacted teeth.
  • Diagnosing temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).
  • Accurate placement of dental implants.
  • Evaluation of the jaw, sinuses, nerve canals and nasal cavity.
  • Detecting, measuring and treating jaw tumors.
  • Determining bone structure and tooth orientation.
  • Locating the origin of pain or pathology.
  • Cephalometric analysis.
  • Reconstructive surgery.
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Benefits/Risks :

X-ray imaging, including dental CBCT, provides a fast, non-invasive way of answering a number of clinical questions. Dental CBCT images provide three-dimensional (3-D) information, rather than the two-dimensional (2-D) information provided by a conventional X-ray image. This may help with the diagnosis, treatment planning, and evaluation of certain conditions.

Although the radiation doses from dental CBCT exams are generally lower than other CT exams, dental CBCT exams typically deliver more radiation than conventional dental X-ray exams. Concerns about radiation exposure are greater for younger patients because they are more sensitive to radiation (i.e., estimates of their lifetime risk for cancer incidence and mortality per unit dose of ionizing radiation are higher) and they have a longer lifetime for ill-effects to develop.

The FDA has launched a pediatric X-ray imaging website that provides specific recommendations for parents and health care providers to help reduce unnecessary radiation exposure to children. The FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health defines the ages of the pediatric population as birth through 21 years.

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