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Cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) is an advanced medical imaging technique used primarily in dentistry and maxillofacial imaging to provide three-dimensional (3D) images of a patient’s dental and facial structures. It is particularly valuable for detailed and precise assessments of the oral and maxillofacial region. Here’s an overview of cone-beam computed tomography:

Key Features and Benefits:

  1. 3D Imaging: CBCT provides a three-dimensional view of the patient’s anatomy, offering more detailed information compared to traditional two-dimensional dental X-rays.
  2. High Resolution: CBCT images have high resolution and clarity, allowing for accurate diagnosis and treatment planning.
  3. Minimal Radiation Exposure: Although CBCT uses X-rays, it typically involves lower radiation doses compared to conventional medical CT scans, making it safer for patients.
  4. Rapid Image Acquisition: The scanning process is relatively quick, and the 3D images are generated in a matter of seconds, reducing patient exposure to radiation.
  5. Non-Invasive: CBCT is a non-invasive procedure, and patients are not required to ingest any contrast agents or undergo invasive procedures.
  6. Customizable Field of View: CBCT machines allow for different field-of-view settings, which can be adjusted according to the specific diagnostic needs, thus optimizing radiation exposure.
  7. Comprehensive Visualization: CBCT is used to visualize teeth, jaws, facial bones, sinuses, airways, nerve pathways, and more, making it a versatile diagnostic tool.
  8. Precise Treatment Planning: Dentists and oral surgeons use CBCT to plan complex procedures, such as dental implant placement, orthognathic surgery, and root canal treatments.

Common Uses of CBCT:

  1. Dental Implant Planning: CBCT is crucial for assessing bone density, volume, and quality to determine the optimal implant placement sites.
  2. Orthodontics: Orthodontists use CBCT to evaluate tooth and jaw relationships and plan orthodontic treatments more accurately.
  3. Endodontics: CBCT aids in the visualization of root canal anatomy and the detection of dental abnormalities.
  4. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery: Oral surgeons rely on CBCT to plan complex procedures like jaw surgeries, impacted wisdom teeth removal, and facial trauma assessments.
  5. Periodontics: CBCT assists in diagnosing and planning treatments for periodontal diseases affecting the gums and supporting structures.
  6. TMJ Evaluation: Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders can be assessed and diagnosed with CBCT.
  7. Airway Assessment: It is used to evaluate airway obstructions and conditions like sleep apnea.
  8. Tumor Detection: CBCT helps in the visualization and assessment of tumors and cysts in the oral and maxillofacial region.

CBCT technology has significantly improved the accuracy and efficiency of diagnosis and treatment planning in dentistry and oral and maxillofacial surgery. Its ability to provide detailed 3D images with relatively low radiation exposure has made it a valuable tool for dental professionals, contributing to better patient care and outcomes.