Cone beam 3D imaging for enhanced dental diagnostics and treatment in Brookline, MA
What is a dental cone beam x-ray?
While traditional 2-dimensional x-rays are still a valuable diagnostic tool for cavities and minor root infections, sometimes they are simply insufficient for providing the level of detail and “inside look” at your oral structures to adequately plan your dental care. That is where a dental cone beam x-ray comes in.
Dental cone beam 3D imaging is a specialized type of x-ray machine that uses computed tomography (also called CT). You have likely heard of CT scans for medical imaging purposes; while a dental cone beam is different from a conventional CT scanner, it can provide similar types of images, with minimal radiation exposure. Using enhanced technology, the dental cone beam scanner takes 3-dimensional scans of your teeth, bone, soft tissues, and nerve pathways from all angles—all in one x-ray—providing a much more in-depth and precise image of your oral structures. In fact, in just one pass, the cone beam takes almost 600 digital “slices” of your mouth, which specialized computer software then compiles into interpretable 3-dimensional views. Dr. Kovtun can then use these detailed images to:
- Provide a more accurate diagnosis, such as for TMJ problems, sinus issues, or unexplained pain
- Create a well-informed treatment plan, such as whether an infection is present and gives options
- Create a Guide for surgical procedures such as dental implant placement for safer, more precise care, around sinuses, nerves and areas where many years have past since teeth were present.
What to expect
You do not need to do anything special to prepare for a dental cone beam scan. We will ask you to remove any metal objects that may interfere with the imaging, such as jewelry or hair pins, prior to performing the scan. The scanner has an arm that rotates in a 360-degree circle around your head to capture images from all angles and takes less than a minute. The procedure is painless and non-invasive.
As a biological dental practice, your overall health is of utmost importance to us. As part of that, we take measures to ensure that we minimize your exposure to radiation during your treatment. While cone beam CT scans do require more radiation exposure than a conventional 2D x-ray, the exposure is typically similar to a few days of normal background radiation that you experience just by being on earth, and the total radiation exposure is much less than a traditional medical CT scan and equivalent to about the 4 images you get yearly during your hygiene visit. Dr. Kovtun carefully weighs the benefits versus risks in determining whether a dental cone beam CT is the right choice for you and is happy to discuss any of your questions or concerns.