At Howe Dental Associates we always strive to make sure our patients are treated with the best and newest technology. Therefore we are pleased to provide at our office, the latest advance in dental imaging – Cone Beam is a special type of medical imaging technique that uses cone-shaped X-rays to create 3-D dental imagery when regular dental or facial x-rays are not sufficiently detailed. With this technology we can produce three dimensional (3-D) images of your teeth, soft tissues, nerve pathways and bone in a single scan. Images obtained with Cone Beam allow for more precise treatment planning and because it reduces the need for invasive dental procedures, patients benefit from shorter treatment time as well as increased procedure success rates. As with any diagnostic tool requiring radiation, there are potential risks, but the medical benefits far outweigh them, making Cone Beam an essential tool in dental specialties such as:
Dental IMPLANTS, ORAL SURGERY, and TMJ (Temporo-Mandibular Joint Disease)
HOW ARE 3D IMAGES ACQUIRED?
Taking a 3D image is a simple process. You will be comfortably positioned in the unit and rest your chin. Positioning lights will assist the clinician to get you situated properly. The clinician will select the appropriate program. CBCT scanners use a rotating imaging device that will move around your head. The scan is painless, and images acquired will be available for viewing on your doctor’s computer for immediate diagnosis. You will appreciate seeing these images during your patient consultation. These will really help you understand your treatment plan and why it’s important.
ARE 3D DIGITAL IMAGES SAFE?
Many patients are concerned with radiation exposure. We have chosen a system with one of the lowest radiation exposure settings. A 3D 5x5cm scan is 2,000 times less exposure than the average medical CT scan and less than 1⁄2 of the radiation exposure of an airline flight from Los Angeles to London!
We also will select the smallest area necessary for diagnostics to further limit any exposure. CBCT delivers a smaller dose of radiation when compared to other diagnostic tests, but it is not without risk – especially for younger patients or those facing health problems. Like any medical procedure, all risks, benefits, and alternatives are considered before recommending this procedure.