Spoiler alert: CBCT (which stands for Cone Beam Computed Tomography) scans produce remarkably clear and precise images! While this is a valuable advantage, it isn’t the only reason we choose to use CBCT imaging!
CBCT scans have a number of advantages – some of which may surprise you. They produce more accurate 3D images (which helps us improve diagnosis or orthodontic issues), but they also provide minimal radiation exposure and are environmentally-friendly.
That’s why we employ CBCT imaging in our South Carolina orthodontist offices. We go to the Nth Degree to ensure that our patients have a comfortable, safe, and positive treatment experience. Here’s how we use our i-CAT machine and why:
What does a CBCT scan show?
A cone beam CT scan is taken when a more complete picture of your dental structures is needed! Our experienced orthodontists (Dr. Nease, Dr. Thomas, Dr. Higginbotham, or Dr. Horvath) can use this machine to get a 3D image of your teeth, soft tissues, nerve pathways, and your jawbones all in one scan!
Without cone beam computed tomography, we wouldn’t be able to see the entire picture of your oral and craniofacial health – which is fundamental in creating specialty treatment plans for certain patients.
The Benefits of CBCT scans
1. CBCT scans produce high-quality, accurate 3D images.
CBCT scans generate clear 3D images from the layering of 150-200 high resolution pictures taken during the imaging process (which takes less than a minute to complete!) These high-quality 3D views help our orthodontists examine bone structures, teeth and gum tissue, spot orthodontic problems, and complete a comprehensive exam.
Your orthodontist can zoom in on images, zoom out, rotate or adjust the contrast if necessary to create a specialized treatment plan that considers all aspects of your smile.
Regular digital x-rays create a 2D image, which is sufficient for many orthodontic cases. But they do not offer the level of precision and depth that cone beam computed tomography does. We choose CBCT for our patients who can benefit from that added level of accuracy and precision.
2. CBCT scans provide minimal radiation exposure.
Radiation exposure can damage DNA in our cells and increase the risk of various cancers, which is why it’s important to minimize exposure when possible. But with any type of imaging scan, there is some exposure to radiation. However, the dental CBCT technology we employ emits roughly the same radiation as regular digital x-rays (including a panoramic x-ray). In addition, it is significantly LESS than a conventional CT (computed tomography).
What’s the real radiation dose for a CBCT vs CT? A CBCT scan has a radiation dose of 0.18 mSv (millisievert) and the amount of radiation exposure that is deemed safe in 1 year is 1mSv. So a CBCT scan radiation dose is minimal and not considered dangerous to health.
3. CBCT scans allow for convenient cloud storage.
CBCT scans are easy to store, access, and transfer (if necessary.) Cloud storage is a lot more convenient than physical storage, and it reduces the chances of CBCT scans being lost or misplaced. If you ever need your CBCT scans sent to your dentist or other practitioner, we can deliver them through secure cloud sharing in only a few minutes!
4. CBCT scans are environmentally friendly.
Digital imaging is kinder to the environment, because it eliminates unnecessary chemicals and waste from traditional x-ray film processing. To process an x-ray image, chemicals are washed over the film. These chemicals then become toxic waste, which is notorious for destroying habitats in the environment.
CBCT scans don’t require chemicals or paper materials to process images. Instead, they’re downloaded to our database and stored in a secure cloud – no need for printing!
5. CBCT imaging allows us to stay modern and up-to-date.
At Nth Degree Orthodontics, we pride ourselves on being a modern practice with highly-experienced orthodontists who use advanced techniques and technologies. We’re always looking for new ways to improve our patient experience and make your treatment process more comfortable, efficient, and accurate!
Throughout all of our treatments and technologies, we choose to use the best for our patients. After all, it’s our commitment to you that we go to Nth Degree to provide a superior patient experience.
Still have questions about CBCT scans?
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions! We’re happy to discuss any of our treatments or technologies with you.