On the forefront of dentistry, a new type of CT scan is becoming the norm. The CBCT, or Cone Beam Computed Tomography, is a CAT scan that offers a three-dimensional view of the patient’s cranial facial structure. These 3D images provide more accurate diagnoses, and allow for better and more efficient treatments. The CBCT is a more advanced and efficient way to obtain the diagnosis that minimizes radiation exposure. The precision diagnosis obtained by the CBCT can be utilized in all branches of dentistry, including:
Endodontically, the CBCT allows the dentist to diagnose endodontic pathosis and evaluate root fractures and trauma. The accurate information facilitates the precision of the treatment. The anatomy of the dental root structure is complex and three dimensional. A 3D image will provide the most accurate assessment. This will increase the success rate of root canal treatment.
Accessible 3D images allow bone quality and quantity to be assessed, as well as the anatomical nerve structure. With this information, a surgical guide can be created to ensure dental implant placement can be done precisely and safely.
4. Oral Surgery
The side effect of the numb jaw associated with wisdom teeth extraction is often feared by patients. With this new technology, a safer and smarter protocol can be established before surgical procedures. The CBCT data allows surgeons to precisely assess the vital anatomical structures. So, surgical protocol can be safely carried out to avoid complications and side effects for impacted tooth extractions, cyst removals, and other surgeries.
With regards to periodontics, the CBCT can evaluate bone anatomy and proximity to pertinent anatomical areas to better assess the source of the infection or lesion and treat it more precisely.
Orthognathic surgery is often combined with orthodontic treatment. It improves jaw size, corrects jaw position, and, in some situations, opens the airway by moving the recessed jaw forward. The CBCT allows for an accurate assessment of the anatomical structures and landmarks, and to plan surgery with safe and precise protocol.
7. Upper Airway Assessment
The 3D image of the cranial facial structure allows us to assess the oral and nasal tracts better than ever before. Any sinus or nasal blockage can be viewed precisely to aid an EMT to carry out more accurate treatment.
Oral-pharynx restrictions are associated with sleep apnea. Beyond the conventional medical treatments, dentists can also provide oral appliances or remodel the oral cavity through orthodontics or orthognathic surgery to clear the air pathway.
The Future of Dentistry
Along with the CBCT, there is now digital imaging software that allows for the integration of such scans into a comprehensive treatment outline. Assimilating the 2D and 3D scans allows for a custom treatment protocol to be created. The combination allows for a full integration of the CBCT file, granting the ability to perfectly fabricate the patient’s dental structure. The rich information taken from the CBCT can be incorporated with CAD/CAM technology to mill or 3D print entail restorations and appliances.