The mouth is only a small opening to an intricate system of bone, nerves, ligaments, muscles, and soft tissue, most of which is hidden out of sight. Dental X-rays are a great diagnostic tool, but when normal X-rays are inconclusive, dentists have other ways of figuring out deeper problems. Specialized imaging techniques can properly diagnose problems and help dentists create a comprehensive, minimally-invasive 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:
- Diagnosing TMJDental implant placement planning
- Diagnosing periodontal disease
- Orthodontic treatment planning
- Locating origins of oral pain
- Evaluating bone structure, nasal passages, nerve pathways, and soft tissue
- Treating jaw tumors
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 Northern Virginia
Dr. Datta Malyavantham proudly offers comprehensive dentistry to patients of all ages. Our staff is dedicated to your unique oral health needs and strives to personalize your dental care for a lasting smile.
Your health and comfort are important to us. If you have any dental concerns, call our office at (703) 520-7410 or request an appointment online.