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                             What is a Cone Beam CT Scan?

Cone Beam CT (CBCT) is an X-ray based imaging technique that, like a conventional medical CT scan, provides fast and accurate visualisation of bony anatomical structures in three dimensions. However, CBCT scanning resolution is higher, with less artefact and scatter. The scan field of view can also be reduced to image smaller volumes and lower the radiation dose associated with each scan.

A Cone Beam CT is a new type of dental 3D imaging which provides high resolution scans of the teeth, jaw and surrounding anatomy with low radiation exposure. Patients typically stand while the machine performs a single rotation around their head in 10-15 seconds.

Patients can also be seated if required.

CT scan will give us precise measurements of the bone volume as well as the position of the nerve in the jaw allowing for accurate treatment planning, selection of implant size and length and ensure that implants can be placed safely.Not all tooth sites require a 3D scan

The data is reconstructed into 3D images using specialised software. The images allow dentists or doctors to view teeth and facial bones quickly and easily in any plane, facilitating accurate diagnosis and enhancing treatment outcomes.

Cone Beam CT imaging is useful to assess impacted and extra teeth, plan dental implants, review dental pathology and trauma, and assess TM joint arthritis. There are also applications in endodontics  (root-canal treatment) and orthodontics.

A dental cone beam CT scanner uses x-rays and a computer to produce 3D cross sectional images of the jaws and teeth. It is a compact, faster and safer version of the regular CT scanner. Through the use of a cone shaped x-ray beam, the size of the scanner, radiation dosage and time needed for scanning are all much reduced.

The machine moves around your head in a circular motion in a similar way to the panoramic dental radiography unit which is commonly used in dental surgeries and hospitals, which you may have already experienced.


An OPG is a panoramic or wide view x-ray of the lower face, which displays all the teeth of the upper and lower jaw on a single film.  It demonstrates the number, position and growth of all the teeth including those that have not yet surfaced or erupted. It is different from the small close up x-rays dentists take of individual teeth. An OPG may also reveal problems with the jawbone and the joint which connects the jawbone to the head, called the Temporomandibular joint or TMJ. An OPG may be requested for the planning of orthodontic treatment, for assessment of wisdom teeth or for a general overview of the teeth and the bone which supports the teeth.

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