CBCT / 3D scan

CBCT Scans

One tremendous advance in dentistry is the availability of CBCT. Because of the very high cost of this technology, you may be referred to our clinic from other offices that do not have the machine.

Implant dentistry has a particular need to assess the three-dimensional structure of the jawbones. Traditionally two-dimensional radiographs have sufficed for most dentists’ needs such as with restorative or endodontics. While the advent of cone-beam computerized tomography (CBCT) has improved our diagnostic capability in many cases, (e.g. complex endodontic canals, furcation involvements, canine exposure, wisdom tooth removal, etc.), two-dimensional radiographs still dominate as the radiograph of choice for most dentistry.

Implant dentistry is where this standard shifts. The nature of nearly all surgical implant placement involves three-dimensional placement into a non-visible space. Two-dimensional radiographs can provide important information but they often lack the oral-facial dimension that completes the picture.

What is a CBCT scan?

It’s basically a three-dimensional radiograph, a “3D x-ray”. CBCT stands for “Cone Beam Computed Tomography”. You may have heard of a medical “CAT scan”; this is a similar technology, but using a cone-shaped beam allows us to get the information we need with significantly less radiation.

Why do I need one?

The dentist will prescribe a CBCT scan for a number of reasons. Sometimes we want to see a 3D image prior to surgery or implant placement for your safety. Other times we need to see the jaw joints, sinuses, or some unusual anatomy.

How long will it take?

There are a number of different scans, but a typical one lasts just under 9 seconds. You will have to remove any facial jewelry, hearing aids, and neck chains, and wait for a dentist to review that the scan has all the information we need, so if you are from an outside clinic, you will be in our clinic about twenty minutes.

What happens to the information?

That depends on what your dentist has requested. Sometimes they will have us burn a copy on disk and send it back with you; other times they will have us mail a disc or send it to them digitally through secure upload transfer. On occasion, we will also send the information to a specialist called an Oral & Maxillofacial Radiologist for review.

CBCT is commonly used for treatment planning of orthodontic issues.
It is also useful for more complex cases that involve:

  • 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 tumours;
  • determining bone structure and tooth orientation;
  • locating the origin of pain or pathology;
  • cephalometric analysis;
  • reconstructive surgery


Toronto - North York office

40 Beverly Hills Drive
Toronto, ON. M3L 1A1

Phone: (416) 242 3285
Phone: (416) 242 4961
Fax: (416) 241 3349


Mississauga office

3313 Cawthra Road
Mississauga, ON. L5A 2X4

Phone: (905) 274 3344
Phone: (905) 848 5524
Fax: (905) 848 4351


Brampton office

Bramalea City Centre
25 Peel Centre Drive, Unit 373
Brampton, ON L6T 3R5

Phone: (905) 497 7997
Phone: (905) 497 7227
Fax: (905) 497 9449