Your teeth are made up of several different layers. The hardest layer, enamel, creates the outside surface, and dentin and pulp are found within. Each layer is susceptible to damage and decay, but symptoms and treatments vary depending on which part of your tooth is affected.
It’s often easy for dentists to spot cracks or cavities on the surface of your teeth, but infection and decay inside your teeth or below your gumline aren’t as easy to identify. You might need the care of an endodontist if you have a tooth that’s infected or damaged from trauma or if you need a root canal.
The best endodontic care starts with a comprehensive exam, and that’s where X-ray technology comes in. Cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) helps us evaluate your oral health from the inside out.
X-ray imaging technology uses radiation to capture images of teeth and bone. Different parts of the body absorb the energy from X-ray beams differently, creating the classic black-and-white images of bone and other hard tissues.
But traditional X-ray images are only two-dimensional, and they have their limitations. CBCT is an advanced medical imaging technique that creates three-dimensional images for enhanced diagnostic capabilities.
CBCT scans allow Dr. Davis and Dr. Shwartz to see detailed images of your teeth and jaw. This heightened level of detail makes detecting endodontic issues easier. We may recommend CBCT scans if you have:
These issues, and other types of endodontic disease, can be difficult to diagnose with traditional X-ray. CBCT gives our team the ability to pinpoint your problems and develop a precise treatment plan for your needs.
While traditional X-rays create flat images, CBCT scans create 3D images. During your scan, the machine rotates around your head. It captures images from all angles with a cone-shaped X-ray beam.
The images taken during your scan are combined to make a 3D image of your jaw, teeth, and maxillofacial area. Our team can view the images on a computer screen and manipulate the renderings to see exactly where your dental issue lies.
Getting a CBCT scan doesn’t require any special preparation. It’s a quick, painless procedure that our team uses to get an inside look at the structures of your mouth, and it’s done right in our office.
We may ask you to remove metal objects, like eyeglasses or jewelry, which could interfere with imaging. Then, you sit or lie down and we position the imaging device near your head.
The machine may rotate up to 360 degrees around your head, but the entire imaging process generally takes less than one minute. After your CBCT scan is complete, your doctor evaluates the images and recommends a treatment plan for you.