Traditional dental X-rays work by passing through the soft tissues of the body, which appear as dark areas on a radiograph. However, hard tissues like bones and teeth cannot absorb the X-rays, so they appear as white areas on radiographs. Traditional X-rays produce 2D images for our dentist so we can diagnose cavities and other dental problems. However, more complex issues and their treatment solutions may necessitate the use of a cone beam CT.
A cone beam CT is a more advanced version of a traditional X-ray. Like its name suggests, this device sends cone-shaped beams into your oral cavity when it rotates an arm around your head. This produces not only a complete image of your oral cavity, but a 3D one that shows our dentist your teeth, jaw, gums, sinuses, nerve pathways, and nasal cavity.
Though a cone beam CT uses more radiation than a traditional X-ray, it uses less radiation than a medical CT. However, we only utilize a cone beam if we need to plan for a complex dental treatment. Some of these treatments may include dental implant placement, straightening treatment, orthognathic surgery, impacted teeth removal, complex root canal procedures, etc. The images produced by the cone beam let our dentist to examine the places that cannot be seen with the naked eye, allowing us to perform precision care.