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Cone Beam CT Scan

What is CBCT?


To better explain what Cone Beam CT ( CBCT ) is, we should first explain what regular CT is:


Computed tomography (CT) imaging, also referred to as a computed axial tomography (CAT) scan, involves the use of rotating x-ray equipment, combined with a digital computer, to obtain images of the body. Using CT imaging, cross sectional images of body organs and tissues can be produced. Though there are many other imaging techniques, CT imaging has the unique ability to offer clear images of different types of tissue. CT imaging can provide views of soft tissue, bone, muscle, and blood vessels, without sacrificing clarity. Other imaging techniques are much more limited in the types of images they can provide.

To understand the difference between CT imaging and other techniques, consider an x-ray of the head. Using basic x-ray techniques, the bone structures of the skull can be viewed. With magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), blood vessels and soft tissue can be viewed, but clear, detailed images of bony structures cannot be obtained. On the other hand, x-ray angiography can provide a look at the blood vessels of the head, but not soft tissue. CT imaging of the head can provide clear images not only of soft tissue, but also of bones and blood vessels.


CT imaging is commonly used for diagnostic purposes. In fact, it is a chief imaging method used in diagnosing a variety of cancers, including those affecting the lungs, pancreas, and liver. Using CT imaging, not only can physicians confirm that tumors exist, but they can also pinpoint their locations, accurately measure the size of tumors, and determine whether or not they’ve spread to neighboring tissues.

In addition to the diagnosis of certain cancers, CT imaging is used for planning and administering radiation cancer treatments, as well as for planning certain types of surgeries. It is useful for guiding biopsies and a range of other procedures categorized as minimally invasive.

Thanks to its ability to provide clear images of bone, muscle, and blood vessels, CT imaging is a valuable tool for the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders and injuries. It is often used to measure bone mineral density and to detect injuries to internal organs. CT imaging is even used for the diagnosis and treatment of certain vascular diseases that, undetected and untreated, have the potential to cause renal failure, stroke, or death.


What does the CBCT equipment look like?


Most of the CBCT scanners are square like machines with a chair. You will sit upright while a C-arm rotates around your head.Within the arm there is an X-ray source and detector (X-ray receiver),which will make one complete 360° rotation for each scan. While the arm is rotating, it is capturing multiple images of your head from different angles. These images are then reconstructed to create a 3D image of your internal anatomy. Some of the CBCT scanners have you lay down on a table that can move up or down, and slide into and out of the center of a hole, while a gantry makes the 360° rotation.


How does the CT scan help my Physician or Dentist?


It allows him/her to:


• Visualize internal anatomy that can not be diagnosed externally

• Plan treatment and surgery

• Prepare necessary aids

• Assess risk

• Analyze the position and orientation of critical structures, like nerves, teeth roots, previous implants, the sinus and nose

Is it painful?

No, the CBCT scan process is completely painless.

Is it handicap-accessible?

The Genoray Cone Beam CT is handicap accessible


What are Cone Beam Scanners Used For?


• Oral surgery

Implant planning

• Orthodontic planning & implant anchorage

• Cephalometric analysis

• TMJ analysis

• Airway study (sleep apnea)

• Jaw tumors

• Impacted teeth

• Periodontal diseases

• Endodontic anomalies

How much does a scan Cost?

Cone Beam scans cost between $350-$525 depending on locality.

Why a CBCT scanner rather than a regular Medical CT scanner?

• X-Ray Radiation exposure to the patient is up 10 times
less than a regular CT scanner.

• Much faster scan time. Scan on a CBCT takes between 10-40 sec, while on a regular CT scanner it takes a few minutes.

• Cheaper, average price of a CBCT scan could be up to 50% less than a regular MDCT scan.

What are the benefits versus risks?


• Unlike regular x-rays CT scans can discriminate between many types of tissue including bone, teeth, nerves and soft tissue.

• CT scans are noninvasive, and can eliminate the need for exploratory surgery in some cases.

• CT can identify the effects of conditions such as infection and tumors.

• A cost effective tool for imaging a wide range of clinical problems.


As with all imaging modalities that use ionizing radiation, the use of CBCT does involve a consideration of risk to the patient. However, it has the benefit of providing useful information needed to assist in making a diagnosis and/or in facilitating treatment. When your doctor refers you for an x-ray examination, he has made the determination that the benefit outweighs the risk. Of course, it is ultimately up to you to decide whether to undergo the examination.Bear in mind that the risk of most x-ray examinations are much less than other risks we commonly accept in daily life.


How should I prepare for the scan?

No special preparation is needed for a CBCT scan of the head. You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing for your CBCT exam. Anything that might interfere with imaging such as earrings, necklaces,piercing, hairpins or eyeglasses should be removed. The x-ray technician may ask you to also remove dentures or other appliances, but it is advisable to bring these along to the appointment as the technician may on occasion want to use them.