Cone Beam CT

Dental cone beam computed tomography (CT) is a special type of x-ray equipment used when regular dental or facial x-rays are not sufficient. Your doctor may use this technology to produce three dimensional (3-D) images of your teeth, soft tissues, nerve pathways and bone in a single scan.

Dental cone beam computed tomography (CT) is a special type of x-ray machine used in situations where regular dental or facial x-rays are not sufficient. It is not used routinely because the radiation exposure from this scanner is significantly more than regular dental x-rays. See the Safety page for more information about x-rays. This type of CT scanner uses a special type of technology to generate three dimensional (3-D) images of dental structures, soft tissues, nerve paths and bone in the craniofacial region in a single scan. Images obtained with cone beam CT allow for more precise treatment planning.

What are some common uses of the procedure?

Dental cone beam CT is commonly used for treatment planning of orthodontic issues. It is also useful for more complex cases that involve:

  • surgical planning for impacted teeth.
  • diagnosing temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).
  • accurate placement of dental implants.
  • evaluation of the jaw, sinuses, nerve canals and nasal cavity.
  • detecting, measuring and treating jaw tumors.
  • determining bone structure and tooth orientation.
  • locating the origin of pain or pathology.
  • cephalometric analysis.
  • reconstructive surgery.