It is common for dentists to order x-rays when people go in for an examination or a procedure. The images allow them to see under the gum line and get an overall picture of the condition of your teeth.
However, if the x-rays are not sufficient for viewing a tooth or they spot something small on the x-ray image, then the dentist may order a better image from a CT scan.
Many dentists use a Cone Beam CT, or computed tomography, scan to get a better view image of your bones and teeth. It is a safe process that works like a digital x-ray machine. While you’re sitting at the machine, an arm moves the camera around your head, taking images of your jaws and teeth.
While the scan is taking images, our dentist or radiologist at All Smiles Dental Care in Hazlet, NJ, review the 3-dimensional images that quickly appear on their computer screen. Along with the hard structures in your mouth, the scanner can also pick up images of soft tissues like lymph nodes and nerves.
Unlike medical CT scanners, the Cone Beam CT scanner does not require special preparation. If you know that one of our dentists at All Smiles Dental Care is going to take a CT screen, then leave your jewelry or hairpins at home.
The staff handling the scanner will ask you to remove anything metal that you’re wearing near your head, such as eyeglasses, hearings aids, and removable dental restorations with metal in them.
Our dentists in Hazlet, NJ, use this scanner to help plan dental treatments and to get a better look at your teeth, jaw structure, and soft tissues to make better diagnoses of dental problems. This machine helps to find issues like tumors that may not appear on digital x-rays.
There is some exposure to radiation as the images from a Cone Beam CT, or CBCT scan are taken. However, it is much less than the exposure patients experience from a regular CT scan, so you can feel confident that the process is safe.
If you’re worried about exposure to radiation, feel free to ask our dentists at All Smiles Dental Care in Hazlet, NJ, about the safety of a CT scan.