If traditional x-rays are like a paper map for your teeth, then cone beam x-rays are the Google Earth map of your mouth.
Cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) machines do look pretty futuristic. Rather than “snapping a picture” of the patient, the CBCT system rotates around the patient’s head. Cone-shaped x-ray beams provide the data needed to reconstruct a very informative 3-D image of the mouth.
If you remember the creation of the action film The Matrix, the production team used dozens of cameras to encircle an actor, capturing the shot from many angles to create “bullet time.” CBCT follows the same principle, but instead the machine captures hundreds of images as it rotates around the patient’s head, and we use software to assemble the images into a 3-D form.
Cone beam x-rays evolved from CT scan imaging, in which a fan-shaped beam of radiation rotates around the patient. The scaled-down concept was applied to dental technology, and it brought a wave of benefits with it.
Besides providing accurate and detailed images, these scans are more cost efficient for the patient. Radiation exposure is also significantly lower than with traditional x-rays. Traditional full-mouth x-rays take up to 20 images of the teeth, but they are two-dimensional and suffer from some distortion. A single CBCT scan exposes the patient to a similar amount of radiation as a full-mouth, 20-image traditional x-ray series but provides hundreds of possible images to use. Parkway Prosthodontics always strives to bring the most advanced treatments in dentistry to the North. Florida area. Cone beam x-rays are just one of the many ways our Parkway team provide the highest level of care for our patients. If you have any questions or concerns about x-rays, please contact us and we will be happy to discuss them with you.