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CBCT Imaging

With the ever changing world of technology, it is crucial to stay ahead of the curve.  Perennial Smiles is always looking for ways to improve our practice, techniques, and treatment we provide to our patients for the best possible outcomes.  This is one reason why we have been scanning our patients with a CBCT (Cone beam computed tomography) instead of a standard x-ray that many offices use, and we have been using this technology for years!

The old standard through dental and orthodontic offices was scanning patients with x-rays for intraoral, extraoral, and panoramic images to treat and diagnose patients.  Now, with improving technology, the CBCT is the gold standard in dental scans.  What is a CBCT you ask?  Essentially it is a better scan used in dentistry to provide the doctor a 3D image of the jaws, teeth, and facial structures, rather than a 2D image of a general x-ray.  This helps the doctor with diagnosis, treatment planning, and evaluation of other conditions that may arise.

You may have also heard of a CT scan.  This is different from the CBCT that dental offices use.  What are some of the differences?  The CT scan uses a fan beam in which the radiation is transmitted in the form of a helix/spiral.  The CBCT scanner transmits radiation in the form of a cone.  Due to the spiral motion of the CT scan, this produces more radiation than the CBCT scan.  One other major difference is in how the scan is taken.  In the conventional CT scans, the patient must be laying down.  This is not the case for all CBCT scanners.  At Perennial Smiles, you may either sit or stand for our CBCT scans.

So what are some of the specifics that a CBCT can help diagnose?  Some diseases and complications may include:

  • Infections
  • TMJ disorder
  • Sleep Apnea and other airway sleep disorders
  • Tumors and cysts
  • Fractures
  • Complications with gum tissue
  • Issues with nasal anatomy, such as sinuses

Orthodontically, the CBCT is a great diagnostic tool that provides a more accurate representation of the teeth, jaw, roots, and generalized bone structure of the individual over a standard x-ray.  It helps show the orientation and placement of teeth and roots compared to the roots of the surrounding teeth.  This is critical when a patient may have extra teeth, or impacted teeth that are just erupting in the wrong direction.

This technology helps Dr. Morgan recognize a multitude of potential abnormalities that may arise.  Early treatment of these complications will help the patient achieve better outcomes and reach their best smile faster.  This is just one piece of the modern technology equipment we have at Perennial Smiles that help produce better treatment outcomes for our patients.

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