Dentists are trained to look out for more than just your teeth. The mouth is only a small opening to a complex array of bone, nerves, soft tissue, muscles, and ligaments, and most of it is hidden beneath skin and bone. Dental X-rays aren’t always enough to see everything beneath the surface. When a dentist suspects a deeper problem, they rely on specialized imaging techniques to properly diagnose the problem and create a comprehensive treatment plan.
Diagnosing Dental Problems with Cone Beam Computed Tomography
Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) is a specialized medical imaging technique that creates a three-dimensional image of a patient’s mouth. CBCT is a different type of dental X-ray that uses a cone-shaped X-ray beam to take a detailed picture of the mouth area. Dentists use CBCT when they suspect gum disease, for planning dental implant placement, and many other reasons.
During a CBCT scan, a machine rotates around the patient’s head and creates a three-dimensional image of the mouth area. This type of imaging is painless and does not require any special instructions, so you will be able to return to normal activities after the scan.
Why Would I Need a CBCT Scan?
The American Association of Endodontists recommends CBCT as a diagnostic tool when dentists suspect a problem beneath the gums, and can also help dentists plan oral surgery. There are several reasons why CBCT may be used:
- Orthodontic treatment planning
- Dental implant placement planning
- Diagnosing periodontal disease
- Diagnosing TMJ
- Treating jaw tumors
- Locating origins of oral pain
- Evaluating bone structure, nasal passages, nerve pathways, and soft tissue
Since the radiation dose in a CBCT scan is higher than a traditional X-ray, dentists are urged to only use CBCT when dental X-rays are not sufficient.
Advanced Dental Technology in Destrehan, LA
Dr. Melanie Andrews is proud to offer patient-centered, family-focused dental care with your dental needs and goals in mind. Plantation Road Dental Care is a full-service family and cosmetic dentist office located in Destrehan, LA that offers comprehensive dental solutions to patients of all ages.Your health and comfort are important to us. If you have any dental concerns, call our office at (985) 231-2770 or request an appointment online.