Blog Post

What Is A CBCT Scanner?

Mar 31, 2016

At NYC Endodontics, we pride ourselves on using only the most sophisticated tools to give top quality care to our patients. One of the most recent additions to our arsenal is Cone Beam Computed Tomography, a revolutionary 3D imaging system that gives clear, detailed images of your teeth. Essentially, it is a CT scan for your mouth.

Traditional X-Ray Technology

A traditional x-ray takes time, and may require multiple exposures to get an accurate reading. These images can give a very limited rendering of a situation. Sometimes, one x-ray might seem to show a successful treatment, while another one of the same area will reveal some complication or error. Analyzing these images requires time and training, as there is way to filter for issues like decay with color or any other means of making them easily visible.

Digital technology has increased the accuracy and efficiency of x-rays. With the help of a computer, a dentist can focus on specific areas of interest, using colored filters to illustrate area of interest. It also automatically organizes files, saving the need for organizing and searching for printed records.

While digital technology has sped up the process and lowered the amount of radiation needed for imaging, it can still only give a two-dimensional rendering of your teeth. For many purposes, this is perfect, revealing the state of the bone holding your teeth in place and any tooth decay that can be repaired with a filling. Unfortunately, as a flat image, it doesnt give as much information as your endodontist might need to create the most complete treatment plan. It also does not show the state of soft tissues, including your gums.

The CBCT Difference

A CBCT scan gives a detailed rendering of your teeth, gums, nerve paths, and and other information that is not available with other technology. For an endodontist, information about the nerve paths is essential. Making sure that all of the infection inside a tooth is cleaned out and prevented from returning requires shaping and filling all of the root canal. In complicated cases, there may be more than one canal, or it could be branched. A CBCT scan makes it possible to detect these types of unusual conditions and increases the chances of a successful procedure.

Unlike most other scans, this technology does not require multiple passes to get a complete picture. The entire targeted area is scanned and digitally rendered in just 8-20 seconds, meaning you may be exposed to far less radiation than other methods.

Medical technology is constantly changing and improving. To make sure every patient gets the best care possible, it is vital that we stay on the cutting edge. A tool like the cone beam scanner helps ensure that your teeth are in good hands.