CBCT Scans

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 more complex cases that involve:
  • surgical planning for impacted teeth;
  • diagnosing temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ);
  • accurate placement of dental implants;
  • Endodontic or Root canal evaluation
  • 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