In dentistry, for treatment planning, different kinds of diagnostic methods are used. X-rays are the first investigative method. However, they provide only a 2-dimensional view. For invasive treatments like implant placement, wisdom teeth extraction, better visualization of the dental structures is essential. Therefore, for accurate treatment planning a 3-dimensional image is advised. A Dental Cone Beam (CB) CT scanner produces 3D cross-sectional images of the jaws and teeth using x-rays and computer-processed x-ray information. The dental CBCT is smaller, faster and safer than the regular CT scanner.

The CBCT scanner generates three dimensional (3-D) images of dental structures, soft tissues, nerve paths and bone in a single scan. Precise treatment planning is possible as it provides a detailed picture about the density of the bone, nerves, and other dental structures.

How to prepare for CBCT?

CBCT does not require special preparationas this is not an examination that requires any injections or dyes. Anything that may interfere with the imaging, such as metal objects like jewellery, eyeglasses, hairpins and hearing aids must be removed prior to the examination. Removable dental prosthesisshould also be removed.

Women who are pregnant or who suspect that they might be pregnant should always let their dentist andthe radiologist know before going for CBCT. Although the radiation used in CBCT is relatively less than the X-rays, it is always best to take proper precautions.

How is CBCT taken?

You will be seated in the CBCT machine with your head carefully positioned and you will be asked to keep absolutely still while the scan is being taken. Each scan takes just a few seconds to perform.

Uses of CBCT:

As CBCT gives a very clear picture about the dental structures, it is widely used for planning invasive procedures such as:

  • Dental implant: The CBCT helps in precisely planning the placement of the implant(s) prior to surgery.
  • Grafting/sinus lift procedures:The bone quantity is evaluated prior to dental implant placement.The sinus location can be identified and possible grafting can be planned with CBCT.
  • Surgical extraction of impacted wisdom teeth: Evaluation and location of vital nerve canals.
  • Detection oftumours: The tumours of the jaw can be detected and monitored with CBCT.
  • Locating and identifying pathological origins of chronic pain.
  • Detection of complex/multiple root canals.
  • 3D evaluation for orthodontic treatment.

Implants and CBCT:

A CBCT scan is used in the diagnostic phases of dental implants. Usually, the Cone Beam scanner software and the dental implant planning software communicate directly with each other, thus, allowingthe dentist to virtually place a dental implant prior to the surgical phase.

Dental implants can be various lengths and widths. With the help of CBCT images, the dental surgeon can plan the precise length and width of each implant with absolute clarity and precision.

The CBCT can also be used for fabricating an implant guide. The scan can be exported to CAD-CAM software which can then be used to make a physical implant guide. This implant guide fits over the existing teeth and has a hole through which the dental implant will be placed. The hole will be placed in such a way that the position and the angle of the implant to be placed would be precise in the jaw.This makes planning and treatment of dental implants highly accurate.

CBCT imaging surpasses the obstacles of 2D imaging, by providing with high quality, sub-millimeter resolution images, with short scanning time and low radiation dose. This type of diagnostic imaging has benefited both patient and dentist, as it reduced the use of just x-rays (in surgeries) which provided only 2D images. Although, it is mostly used for implant planning and placement, its application cannot be restricted. It has a huge scope in root canal treatments of curved and complex root structures as well as orthognathic surgeries. The use of CBCT has revolutionized and eased planning surgical procedures in dentistry to a great extent.

At ivory smiles dental clinics, all the dental implant cases are planned using the CBCT and surgical guides are fabricated based on intra oral scans and the CBCT. Hence ivory smiles dental clinic has been one of the best providers and preferred dental clinic for many who are looking for dental implants.

To schedule your appointments with Dr Amruta Dash, our chief implantologist, call 9008647868/080-42229797.

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