Dental Tomography: A CT scan, often referred to as a “CAT scan”, is a type of medical imaging that combines multiple x-ray measurements into virtual “slices” of a feature, allowing the doctor to see inside without hurting it. Cone beam CT imaging (CBCT) is a subtype of this imaging that is useful in dental, orthodontic, oral and endodontic surgery. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at this interesting technology, which is becoming increasingly important for the identification and treatment of dental problems.
What are the risks associated with dental X-rays?
CT (Dental Cone Beam) scans offer a significantly lower radiation dose than typical CT scans obtained in a hospital, but they contain more x-rays than a regular x-ray. Therefore, your dentist will try to limit the number of scans you undergo.
It should be noted that older people (those over 60) are less likely to be exposed to radiation because their teeth are less sensitive to its effects.
If you are pregnant, please inform your dentist so that the scan can be modified or other arrangements can be made.
Is it conceivable that a CT scan could cause cancer?
It is unlikely that one or a small number of CT scans could cause cancer, because there is not enough radiation exposure. This is especially true for older people and adults.
Tell your dentist if you have recently had a CT scan so that he or she can take the dose into account when deciding if and when to have another scan.
How does metal affect a CT scan?
X-rays work by passing through objects and creating images of varying density. The darker the image on the scan, the denser the substance through which the x-rays are trying to pass. As a result, soft tissue is almost undetectable, while bone appears as a white spot. Metal can hide bone because it prevents x-rays from passing behind the metal structure (which your dentist must examine).
Therefore, jewelry and other metal objects should be removed from the patient’s head, face and neck whenever possible.
Is a neck CT scan feasible when wearing a full plastic prosthesis?
Wearing a complete plastic prosthesis should have no effect on the CT image. However, depending on the type of image your dentist needs, you may be asked to remove your denture before the scan.
Is a CBCT used to diagnose dental implants?
Many ConeBeam scanner software installations are directly connected to dental implant planning programs and software platforms, and the scanners are used in the diagnostic phases of dental implants. This allows your dentist to virtually place a dental implant before surgery.
Dental implants come in different lengths and widths, and your dentist can use 3D scanners to create the precise length and width of each implant with absolute clarity and accuracy.
The results of the scan can sometimes be uploaded into CAD/CAM software, which can then be used to design an actual implant guide for the dentist. This implant guide fits your existing teeth and contains a hole into which the dental implant will be inserted. The hole will be drilled at the precise angle required by the dentist to insert the dental implant.