At Teeth By Two, we are equipped with the an advanced cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) machine.

What is CBCT?

CBCT is also known as cone beam volumetric tomography (CBVT).

The use of CBCT in dentistry contributes significantly to the diagnosis and prognosis of dental conditions, ultimately influencing treatment decisions. Studies have shown that CBCT’s ability to provide detailed 3-dimensional images helps dental professionals make more informed choices regarding whether to extract or preserve compromised teeth. This enhanced diagnostic capability can lead to reduced treatment time and costs by enabling more precise planning and execution of procedures. Therefore, CBCT plays a crucial role in optimizing dental care outcomes while potentially minimizing the need for unnecessary interventions.

 

Indications

  • Your Endodontist will explain the clinical reasons for a CBCT scan to be recommended instead of other imaging procedures.
  • The three-dimensional feature of CBCT scans provides your Endodontist with much more information compared to other dental X-rays. This enables your endodontist to, diagnose and identify your endodontic problem and plan the best treatment options for you.
  • CBCT scans are particularly useful to assess teeth and their supporting structures after a traumatic dental injury, when planning for complicated endodontic treatments (like failed old root canal treatments, teeth with calcified root canals, teeth with cracks or suspected of having fractures) or even during root canal treatments to map the hidden of highly calcified root canals.
  • It is not recommended as the primary imaging technique for detecting dental caries.
  • CBCT scans are more sensitive in the detection of root infections. However, normal Xrays may suffice in many cases. Several authors consider that CBCT scans should only be considered in cases where there are contradictory clinical and radiographic signs and symptoms, nonspecific or persistent pain, complex root morphology or extra root canals, and suspected vertical root fracture not detectable with plain radiography.
  • After considering and discussing the benefits and risks with you, your Endodontist may recommend that a CBCT scan taken from your teeth and jaws.
  • CBCT should only be used when 3-D imaging is considered necessary for more specific diagnosis and planning of treatment. It is not required as part of routine endodontic treatment.

 

Advantages

  • The radiation dose from a CBCT (or CBVT) machine is typically much less than from a conventional CT scan because of the way the radiation beam is generated. However, it is higher than from other types of dental X-rays.
  • Children and young people are more sensitive to the effects of radiation because their bodies are still developing.
  • The low dose of radiation used in CBCT scans presents a minimal increase in the risk of cancer in later life.
  • Although typical radiation doses in CBCT are low, use of radiation in oral health care should always be kept as low as possible.
  • However, it remains important that 3D imaging for endodontic reasons should only be applied when clinically indicated
  • 3D volumetric imaging techniques like CBCT overcome the limitations of traditional 2D imaging (OPG or intra oral Xray films). These limitations include superimposition of adjacent structures on the teeth. The data from a single scan can be reformatted to be viewed along three different spatial planes and processed to reconstruct a three-dimensional model of jaws and dentition.
  • Compared with 2D plain films, CBCT has been found to be more accurate in measurements in any dimension. Several studies have found CBCT linear measurements (over lengths comparable to a tooth) to be accurate within 1mm.

 

What can be done to reduce radiation exposure from CBCT scanning?  

  • Let your Endodontist know if you have had a CBCT or another type of scan before, because the results of these earlier tests may be helpful. This is particularly important if you need regular Xray scans for an ongoing health problem.
  • Bring previous scans and X-rays (or their reports) to your appointments.
  • It is always okay to ask the specialist if a CBCT scan is necessary, or if there are other ways to obtain the information that use less, or no, radiation. The specialist can explain why a CBCT scan has been chosen for you.
  • Before your appointment, ask the dentist or person doing the scan how they will keep your radiation dose as low as possible.

 

– Adapted from Australian Commission on safety and quality in health website

https://www.safetyandquality.gov.au/sites/default/files/migrated/Brochure-Cone-beam-CT-scan.pdf