The cone beam CT is just one way dental professionals have incorporated the latest in technological innovations into dental treatment and diagnosis here at Sedaros Oral Surgery. Formally known as the cone beam computed tomography CT, the cone beam CT is a certain kind of x-ray machine. It is utilized when 3D images are needed and traditional facial or dental x-rays are simply inadequate to show an oral surgeon what they need to see to properly diagnose certain conditions or complete a specific procedure.

What The Cone Beam CT Can Do

The cone beam produces 3-D pictures of the bones, nerve pathways, and the dental structures within the craniofacial region, all in a single session or scan. This allows for precise planning of treatments, as well as gives surgeons an unprecedented ability to properly place dental implants. It can also be used to diagnose temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), locate the pathology or origin of facial or dental pain, aid in surgical planning for impacted teeth or reconstructive surgery, and gives dental professionals the ability to properly evaluate issues in and around the nasal cavity, nerve canals, sinuses, and jaw area.

What The Cone Beam CT Name Means

The cone beam CT utilizes a cone-shaped x-ray beam. This cone beam moves around the patient, producing an abundance of views or images. These images aren’t simple, fuzzy images, either, but instead high-quality, crystal clear images that are crucial to the proper diagnosis and treatment of countless periodontal conditions and other oral health problems.

The Science Behind the Technology

This x-ray utilizes fairly new technology. The image is created by using a rotating gantry, which has a fixed detector or x-ray source. The cone-shaped source of radiation is then directed at the middle of the target or area of interest, then onto the detector area on the other side. The detector and x-ray source rotate around a fulcrum fixed within the center of the focus point or interest. Throughout the rotation process, multiple planar projection images are created, ranging from 150 images to more than 600.

Why The Cone Beam CT is Superior to Traditional CT Scans

The cone beam CT scan delivers a much smaller dosage of radiation to the patient when compared to conventional CT scans. In addition, conventional CT scans produce 2D images, while cone beam CTs produce ultra-clear 3D images. These scans are also much better at providing your oral surgeon with an accurate look of impacted teeth because the images produced are free of overlapping structures or distortion, which often occurs with other types of scans. In addition, the cone beam CT machines are smaller and significantly cheaper when compared to large CT machines.

Image Production

There are four components of cone beam CT image production. They include the acquisition configuration, image detection, image reconstruction, and then image display. They are explained briefly below:

  • Acquisition Configuration: This occurs when a full rotation scan takes place, while simultaneously the reciprocating detector moves synchronously.
  • Image Detection: The resolution and details are determined by individual volume elements. It is based on the pixel size of the area detector. This differs from the way traditional CT scans detect images as they rely on the thickness of each image slice.
  • Image Reconstruction: This part of the process occurs after the projection frames have been acquired. The data is processed to create a volumetric data set. This whole process is referred to as the image reconstruction process. The frames can number from 100 to 600. Each one can contain more than one million pixels. Consequently, this reconstruction process is computationally complex. The data reconstruction process is completed via personal computer software and takes less than three minutes to complete.
  • Image Display: There are many ways a dentist can display the images they have acquired through the cone beam CT. Often, how the images are displayed depends on the purpose of the scan. They are often displayed via a computer screen, but the specific focus of the image can vary.

The above information explains the amazing technology and science behind the innovative cone beam CT scan. Contact us at Sedaros Oral Facial Surgery & Dental Implants to learn more about our x-ray and how we can employ it to diagnose and treat your dental health.