If you regularly visit a dental office for routine check-ups, a dentist may take images of your mouth with a bite wing X-ray. These images let the dentist see inside your teeth and between them, allowing us to detect cavities and other dental problems. However, if you need to undergo a more extensive procedure, like oral surgery or implant placement, then we will take images using a cone beam CT.
A cone beam CT (computed tomography) is a 3D scanner that takes several images of your mouth. Like a traditional X-ray, it works by emitting X-rays that pass through the soft tissues of your body, but not through hard tissues like teeth. The 3D images the cone beam produces allow us to make treatment plans for implants, impacted teeth, orthodontics, orthognathic surgery, and root canal therapies. This equipment is also used for the diagnose and tracking of TMJ disorder, sleep apnea, jaw tumors, etc.
A cone beam gets its name because the beam used to scan your mouth is a cone shaped. You will either stand or sit as the arm of this device circles around your head. It takes about one minute for the cone beam to take several images. Afterwards, we will have a complete radiograph of your mouth, showing your teeth, gums, jaw, sinuses, nerve canals, and nasal cavity. Call Simpson Dental Associates today if you want to learn more about our cone beam CT technology.