What are CBCT Scans (3D X-Rays)?
CBCT scans – short for cone beam computed tomography scans – are the new gold standard for safe and accurate dental imaging.
They’re especially important for dental implant surgery, giving dentists a clear understanding of where and how to place dental implants with down-to-the-millimetre precision.
You might see several names for this kind of technology, like 3D x-rays, CBCT scans, and dental cone beam imaging, but they all refer to the same thing: in-depth 3D imaging that results in you receiving safer, faster, and more effective dental treatment.
How does a CBCT scan work?
CBCT scans are quick and safe, taking just a few minutes to complete while delivering a much lower amount of radiation than other types of medical CT scans. Once you’re inside the machine and your head is properly aligned for the scanner, a portion of the machine will rotate around your head, capturing a detailed three-dimensional model of your teeth and jaws.
From there, the computer generated model is carefully analyzed by our dentists to plan your dental implant surgery and ensure that the procedure goes smoothly from start to finish.
First, we’ll look at the area where you need implants to decide on the right size, shape, and position of your implant crowns.
Once we understand the best way to fit your new crowns among your existing teeth, the next step is to determine where and how to securely place each implant screw.
Finally, after the position of each implant has been identified, we’ll assess whether any preparatory treatments like bone grafting are needed before implants can be placed.
Why CBCT Scans are so Valuable for Dental Implant Surgery
They find problems that 2D methods miss
Traditional 2D scans can miss important details like cracks or lack of bone in the area where an implant is needed. CBCT scans ensure that there are no surprises or sudden risks during your procedure.
More dimensions means more accuracy
X-rays and other 2D scans are restricted to measuring bone height, so they’re less accurate for measuring bone volume. 3D imaging can measure height, width, depth and angulation so that your implants are positioned for maximum comfort and durability.
Better treatment planning
Before, treatment planning relied on wax models and x-ray film, which were time-consuming to work with and less precise. CBCT scans change that, letting your dentist carefully analyze your mouth and use live digital previews to make sure your implants give you a beautiful long-lasting smile.
Precise surgical guidance
Using your CBCT scan, a custom-fitted surgical guide can be created that simplifies the procedure and provides total certainty around where and how deep to drill into the jawbone. The result? Faster, safer surgery, especially for full-arch implants or multiple implants.
Is a CBCT scan necessary?
Getting a CBCT scan isn’t absolutely necessary, but it’s highly recommended if you’re getting dental implants. The more information we have about your mouth and jaw, the more likely it is that you’ll be getting a beautiful set of worry-free implants that you can enjoy for decades.
Is a CBCT scan safe?
Like a lot of medical scans, CBCT scans do involve radiation. Having said that, the amount of radiation in CBCT scans is much lower than in other medical CT scans – in some cases it’s as much as 10 times lower. Your health is always our top priority, so you can rest assured that we take every precaution to make sure that your CBCT scan is both safe and effective.
What’s the difference between a CT scan and a CBCT scan?
Traditional CT scans use a fan-shaped beam that captures many “slices” which are used to form a 3D image. This requires a patient to stay very still, and involves a high amount of radiation.
CBCT scans also create a 3D image, but because they use a rotating arm and cone-shaped beam to scan the body, the process is much quicker and exposes the patient to far less radiation. A scan is complete after just one rotation, and the entire process takes only a few minutes to complete.
Does it cost more to get a CBCT scan?
Getting a CBCT scan does cost a bit more – but the benefits far outweigh the cost. The clarity that 3D imaging provides makes the implant procedure faster, safer, and more likely to be successful, and the peace of mind you’ll get from that makes a CBCT scan worth every penny.
Thinking about getting dental implants?
Call us or visit our conveniently-located clinic in Burnaby to find out how a CBCT scan can help you
If you’re considering dental implants to restore your smile, or you’ve done some research about CBCT scans and want to chat with a dental expert, get in touch with us through the form on the right, or by giving us a call at (604) 243-0046.
With over 25 years of dental implant experience, you can count on Dr. Balogh to listen to your questions and concerns, then find a dental solution that’s designed to meet your needs.