Cone Beam 3D X-rays: FAQs

Cone Beam 3D X-rays: FAQs

Mar 01, 2021

Cone beam 3D x-rays may be a new term for many patients. If you are not familiar with this procedure, this article will give you a better understanding of it.

Common Uses of Cone Beam 3D X-rays

At Webber Dental in Smithfield, Utah, we recommend this procedure when a patient has complex issues that involve:

  • Detecting and treating jaw tumors
  • Nasal cavity, nerve canals, sinuses, and jawbone evaluation
  • Placement of dental implants
  • Tooth orientation and evaluation of the bone structure
  • Reconstructive surgery
  • Locating a source of pain
  • Diagnosing a TMJ disorder

Commonly Asked Questions About Cone Beam 3D X-rays

To help you prepare better, here is a list of some of the most commonly asked questions about these x-rays.

1. How should I prepare myself for this procedure?

This procedure requires no special preparation, but before the examination, you will be requested to get rid of anything that may interfere with the imaging, including hairpins, eyeglasses, and jewelry. Your dentist or oral surgeon may need to examine your removable dental work to ascertain it’s not the cause for your problems; hence it is advisable to carry them along to your examination.

Women who suspect they are pregnant should always share this information with their oral surgeon or dentist before the procedure’s commencement.

2. How does the equipment look like?

A cone-beam scanner is a square-shaped machine that encompasses a table for patients to lie on during the exam or an upright chair for sitting. Scanners with a table have a rotating gantry, while those that have a chair encompass a C-arm that rotates, an image intensifier made up of a detector, and the x-ray source.

3. How do cone-beam x-ray machines work?

During the exam, the gantry or the C-arm rotates around your head for a complete rotation capturing several images at different angles, which are then used to create a 3-D image.

The detector and x-ray are put on opposite sides of the gantry or C-arm and rotate simultaneously. In one rotation, the detector can produce anywhere between 150 to 200 high resolution two-dimensional (2-D) images, which are later combined to form a 3-D image.

4. How is the x-ray taken?

Your doctor will ask you to lie down or sit in the exam chair, depending on the type of scanner that the doctor will use. Your practitioner will recommend a position that will make the area of interest be at the center of the beam. You will be requested to remain calm during the revolving of the detector and the x-ray source around you for a complete rotation or less. The rotation can take 20 to 40 seconds for a full mouth x-ray, while a regional scan that concentrates on a specific area takes less than 10 seconds.

5. What should I expect during and after the procedure?

You will not experience any pain throughout the whole examination, and after its completion, you will be able to return to your normal activities.

6. How do I get my results?

Upon completion of the examination, your oral surgeon or dentist will study the images. They may either communicate the results to your mentioning dentist or physician or discuss it with you directly.

7. What are some of the benefits and risks of the procedure?

Here are some of the benefits associated with this procedure:

  • Cone beam scans allow more precise treatment planning by providing more information about the conventional dental x-ray.
  • A better-quality image is produced by reducing the scatter radiation using the focused x-ray beam.
  • A scan by itself provides several images of different angles and views, which will give a complete rating when worked on.
  • The scanning is accurate and painless.
  • After the examination, no radiation remains in the patient’s body.
  • The scanning can image the soft tissue and jawbone at the same time with no side effects.
  • The risks include:
  • It presents a slight chance of the patient getting cancer due to immoderate exposure to radiation. Thus, the scan should always be done in a low-dose system for children. Children should undergo a CT exam only if it is crucial for making a discovery and should not redo the procedure unless it is totally necessary as they are the most affected by radiation.

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