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Out With the Old: Why Dentists Are Using the Cone Beam CT Scanner

January 18, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — soldotnadentalarts @ 6:51 am
A cone beam CT scanner next to folded lead aprons

If you’re good about regularly attending your dental checkups, you likely know a thing or two about dental X-rays. These images of your teeth and jaws help your dentist examine your mouth. However, much of dentistry is phasing out traditional X-ray imaging in favor of new technology. Many dentists now rely on the cone beam CT scanner instead. To learn more, let your Soldotna dental practice reveal why dentists use the cone beam CT scanner.

Context: Dental X-Rays of the Past

Until fairly recently, dentists would only take two types of dental X-rays. The first is the full-mouth kind. Meanwhile, the second variety is the panoramic type.

Full-mouth X-rays offer a complete picture of your mouth. They capture detailed images of each tooth and its surroundings. In doing so, they let a dentist know if you have gum disease, cavities, and so on.

Unlike full-mouth ones, panoramic X-rays show all of your mouth structures on a single image. These elements include the upper and lower jaws, your teeth, the TMJ, and even your nasal area. That said, each X-ray doesn’t provide much detail.

How the Cone Beam CT Scanner Differs

As technology evolves, dentists don’t need to depend on standard X-rays as much. Rather, they’ve begun using cone beam CT scanners.

Per their name, cone beam CT scanners employ cone beam computed tomography (CBCT). This is a special technique that creates a 3D image of a patient’s mouth. In fact, it uses a cone-shaped X-ray beam to take a detailed picture of your oral cavity.

With a cone beam CT scanner, a machine rotates around your head to take a CBCT scan. This process is painless and doesn’t involve special instructions. As such, you can quickly resume normal activities once it’s done.

Why Use a Cone Beam CT Scanner?

CBCT technology is more advanced than the standard X-ray. As a result, cone beam CT scanners have a few unique benefits. These include:

  • High Image Quality & Accuracy – A cone beam scan focuses on a certain spot, allowing dentists to examine tiny areas. Plus, its 3D features mean the dentist can view your mouth from different angles for better diagnosis.
  • Bone & Soft Tissue Images – Unlike typical X-rays, a cone beam can scan bones and soft tissues. It thus provides more detailed information, ensuring more precise treatment plans.
  • Less Radiation – A CBCT scan uses a lower radiation dose than an X-ray. Therefore, it involves fewer risks to the patient.

Clearly, the cone beam CT scanner is quite effective. Ask your dentist about this tool the next time you get a checkup!

About the Practice

Soldotna Dental Arts is based in Soldotna, AK. Led by Dr. Mike Christensen, our practice seeks to give each patient truly great dental care. We thus offer preventive, cosmetic, and restorative services, as well as emergency oral treatments. Naturally, our team also relies on advanced dental tools like the cone beam CT scanner! For more details or to book a visit, you can reach us on our website or by phone at (907)-420-3938.

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