Dental Cone Beam CT Imaging

At Glenpool Dentistry, we are proud to use the latest and most advanced dental technologies to deliver exceptional services in dentistry to all our clients.

What is Dental Cone Beam CT Imaging?

When regular facial or dental x-rays are insufficient, Dental Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CT) is a highly specialist type of equipment that can be used to produce a 3D image of your soft tissues, your teeth, nerve pathways, and bone; all in a single scan.  Essentially, the images we obtain in the craniofacial region enable a more precise level of treatment planning. 

Cone Beam CT imaging is not the same as a typical CT scan, but it does produce similar images. An x-ray beam in the shape of a cone will be moved around to produce a large number of high-quality images. The dental cone beam CT scanner is smaller than a conventional CT scanner, and it also offers the advantage of giving off lower radiation than a conventional CT scan. 

A Dental Cone Beam CT image is taken on the same piece of equipment as our other full mouth xray (panoramic) and takes less than 30 seconds to capture.

What is a dental cone beam CT scanner used for?

Most commonly, we will utilize a dental cone beam CT scanner to help with effective planning of treatment for a range of orthodontic issues.

In addition, it can be used for more comprehensive cases, such as:

  • Precision placement of implants
  • Surgical planning for impacted teeth
  • The diagnosis of TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder)
  • Finding the location of pathology or pain
  • Detection, measuring, and the treatment of tumors of the jaw
  • Reconstructive Surgery
  • Comprehensive analysis of the nasal cavity and nerve canals
  • Cephalometric Analysis
  • Ascertaining tooth orientation and bone structure

Patient Preparation for Dental Cone Beam CT Scanning

If you are visiting us at Glenpool Dentistry for a cone beam CT scan, there are no special preparative measures needed.  Before your examination, you will typically be asked to remove items, such as glasses, jewelry, and metal hairpins. You might also be asked to take out any removable dental work as well. However, it is important you bring your removables with you to the practice, as Dr. Roulston may need to see these. If there is any possibility you could be pregnant, please call the clinic prior to your appointment to advise us of this.

How the dental CT procedure works

During a typical Dental Cone Beam CT exam, the gantry or C-arm of the machine will rotate around a patient’s head by 360 degrees. During this time, it will capture a large number of images from a variety of angles. In any one full rotation, the detector will have the potential to generate anything from between 150-200 individual images. These images are then collated and reconstructed in order to create a singular 3D image.

  • You will be asked to stand with your chin rested on the machine.
  • Dr. Roulston will then help you get into the correct position to ensure the area of interest is placed centrally in the beam. 
  • At this point, you will be asked to sit or lay as still as possible. This will allow the equipment to revolve a full 360 degrees. The most this will take is anything between 30-40 seconds for a full mouth x-ray. If it is a regional scan that is only focused on the mandible or maxilla, then it could be closer to 15 seconds. 
  • You will neither experience any pain or discomfort during the image capture, and as soon as it is complete, you will be able to return to your usual day immediately.

What the benefits of getting a Dental Cone Beam CT Scan?

  • There are no immediate side-effects of getting a scan
  • Following the imaging, no radiation remains in a patient’s body
  • One scan will produce a range of angles and views for a far greater quality of image compared to an x-ray alone, allowing for a more comprehensive evaluation
  • The procedure is painless, highly accurate, and non-invasive
  • It can image soft tissue and bone at the same time

If Dr. Roulston has discussed a Dental Cone Beam CT scan at Glenpool Dentistry, and you have any questions about the procedure or costs, please contact our team today to discuss.


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