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Dental Cone Beam CT (CBCT) Scan
  • I need a dental x-ray

A dental cone beam computed tomography (CT) scanner machine is used for more complex, dental x-ray needs.

On some occasions a regular x-ray machine may not be sufficient to give your dentist or oral surgeon all the information they need, so a dental cone beam computed tomography (CT) scanner machine can be used instead. 

When you have orthodontic issues that need to be addressed, an x-ray of the mouth is often needed. On some occasions a regular x-ray machine may not be sufficient to give your dentist or oral surgeon all the information they need, so a dental cone beam computed tomography (CT) scanner machine can be used instead. This kind of machine is not used often, as the radiation levels are much higher than in a regular dental x-ray.

The machine is used to make a 360-degree image of your mouth. Your dentist or oral surgeon will ask you to either sit or lie down in the examination room, depending on the type of cone beam CT scanner being used. You will be carefully positioned so that the machine can get the best pictures of your mouth and it is important that you remain completely still for the duration of the procedure. The arm of the machine will then do a 360-degree rotation, taking up to 200 high resolution photos of the inside of your mouth. These images are put together digitally to create one complete 3D image. This gives your dentist or oral surgeon all the information they need about your oral health.

Using the information from a cone beam CT scan, dentists and oral surgeons can evaluate the health of the jaw, bone structure, nasal cavity and sinuses. However, the downside of this method is that it cannot provide full diagnostic information that is available with a conventional CT scan. Dentists and oral surgeons cannot evaluate the health of soft tissue, such as nerves, glands, lymph nodes and muscles.

You will not experience any pain during a cone beam CT exam and you will be able to return to your normal activities once the exam is complete.

A scan will cost around the £100 mark.

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