What Does a CBCT Scan Show?

May 25, 2024 6:30:00 AM / by Chad Hutchison

CBCT, or cone-beam computed tomography, is an innovation in medical and dental X-ray imaging that enables rapid and accurate diagnosis and efficient treatment planning. Traditional X-rays have limitations that the more advanced CBCT scans have overcome, significantly elevating patient care standards.

Let’s examine what a CBCT scan will show and what procedures they’re currently used for.

So, What Does a CBCT Scan Show?

CBCT stands for cone-beam computed tomography. This innovative radiographic imaging method produces 3-D images of teeth, bones, and soft tissues. This differs significantly from traditional X-ray machines, which only produce two-dimensional images. 

Instead, CBCT uses a cone-shaped X-ray beam moving in a circular motion that is then digitally processed to produce high-quality 3-D cross-sectional images of bones and soft tissues, allowing medical and dental practitioners to see both structure and function.

This new technology provides a much more comprehensive view of anatomy, allowing for better diagnosis and treatment planning. Its precision images make it particularly useful in specialized fields, including dentistry, orthopedics, and reconstructive surgery.

What Are Some Common Uses of CBCT?

CBCT is especially common in modern digital X-rays, specifically dental, because of its high-quality images of teeth and gums that are quick and efficient, enabling accurate diagnosis of conditions and diseases. They also have a lower radiation dose, making them safer than traditional methods.

Similarly, CBCT is crucial in dentistry when performing surgical implants, as it helps assess bone quality and accurately measures the shape and size of the jawbone to allow for optimum placement of the titanium posts. It’s also used to identify any issues with the gums, evaluate the sinuses and nerves, and detect lesions that may indicate disease, all of which could impact the implants. 

Since CBCT provides more detail than traditional X-rays, it’s quickly becoming invaluable in diagnosing and treating many things. For example, they’re often used for diagnosing traumatic injuries and infections and as a tool to aid in reconstructive surgeries. It’s gaining popularity in orthopedics for spinal imaging, helping diagnose vertebral abnormalities. This is particularly valuable in diagnosing things like TMJ (tempo mandibular joint) dysfunction, which can otherwise be hard to diagnose. CBCT is even used in patients with sleep apnea to ensure a better fit for their mouthpieces, resulting in fewer breathing interruptions than when fitted using traditional methods.

If you’re considering buying a CBCT, there are a few important factors you should consider, like the field of view, size and installation requirements, cost, ease of use, software integration, and whether or not your supplier offers training and after-sales support.

What Does a CBCT Scan Detect?

A CBCT, or cone-beam computed tomography scan, is an innovative new radiographic imaging procedure used to create high-quality three-dimensional images of teeth, bones, nerves, and soft tissues. Since these are 3-D cross-sectional images instead of the standard two-dimensional images of a traditional X-ray, they’re much better at showing both form and function, enabling rapid and accurate diagnosis in dentistry, orthopedics, and other specialized fields. 

They’re particularly common in diagnosing dental problems, especially with wisdom teeth or root canals that traditional X-rays don’t perform as well, and for surgical implants providing the precise details of the jawbone that are required to properly place the titanium posts. They also show infections, inflammation, tumors, cysts, lesions, issues with the sinuses and nerves, and other soft tissue problems that could create issues for the implants. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Does CBCT Show an Infection?

A CBCT (cone beam computed tomography) scan will show infections better than traditional X-rays because it can also detect if that infection has spread and how far it has spread, something traditional X-rays are typically poor at doing. 

Does CBCT Show inflammation?

Yes, a CBCT (cone beam computed tomography) scan will show inflammation since it provides high-quality, precise 3-D images of your soft tissues, allowing the inflammation to be seen better than it would be on a traditional X-ray.

Final Thoughts

CBCT, or cone-beam computed tomography scans, are quickly becoming the gold standard in dental practices. They produce high-quality 3-D images that allow practitioners to see things like inflammation, cysts, nerves, and other issues that are more difficult to detect in traditional X-ray machines. They are also increasingly used in orthopedics, reconstructive surgeries, and other specialty fields.

If you’re considering buying a CBCT, look no further than Maven Imaging for dental X-ray equipment. We offer professional advice and guidance to help you buy the right machines for your practice.

Tags: CBCT

Chad Hutchison

Written by Chad Hutchison

Founder and CEO of Maven Imaging, Chad Hutchison has been in the medical imaging equipment market since 2003. As his business grew, he pioneered buying and selling medical equipment online and eventually began offering leasing and financing to meet market demands and help customers. His market expertise goes beyond traditional medical imaging and finance support, as he’s spearheading cloud-based lending solutions for vendors across the sector.