Defining Dentistry: What Is A CBCT?

Posted .

Happy October everyone!

October means Halloween and birthdays for my younger brother and sister.

Happy birthday to my beautiful siblings, Nareath and Sandy — I love you!

I am hoping my husband Al agrees to a couples’ Halloween costume this year. I am sure he will make me be something from Fortnite as a compromise.

What are you going to be this year?

Thank you again for joining in on this month’s “Smile with Dr. Suy” and our continuing series “Defining Dentistry.” This month’s column is the cone beam computed tomography (CBCT).

A CBCT is essentially a 3D image of your whole face and neck area. The CBCT X-ray unit is very similar to a PAN [panoramic radiography] unit where you step in and the unit will rotate around your head to capture the image.

The CBCT is 10-times less radiation than a medical computer tomography scan. The CBCT provides your doctor valuable information concerning your bone, soft tissues, nerve pathways and positioning of anatomical structures.

Several doctors may want a CBCT, including your dentist – Hatcher & Frey Orthodontics in Great Bridge, otolaryngologist, sleep apnea doctor, pulmonologist, oncologist and oral surgeon.

A CBCT is used for many reasons due to the vast amount of information it provides.

The CBCT can be used to gather information for:

— Dental implants: evaluating existing bone, nerve proximities, fabricating surgical guides and planning out cases

— Root canal therapy: Evaluating the structure of the existing root canal system within the infected tooth

— Oral surgery: Evaluating angulation of structures to be removed and proximity to important anatomical structures

— Sleep apnea: Evaluating the airway for constriction

— Sinus problems: Evaluating the skull sinuses

— Temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders: Evaluating the jaw joints

— Oral pathology detection: Evaluating the presence of any oral pathology (especially hard tissue) including sialoliths, bony structures and bony cancers

There are many providers of the CBCT. Some dentists have them in the office while others have a relationship with other doctors and refer their patients.

In my office, Zalatan Dental, we have the unit in house, so feel free to come by if you need a CBCT.

The CBCT is a great innovation in the field of dental medicine, and I hope you appreciate this new tool in your oral health.

Please feel free to contact me with questions and comments! Have some questions to ask me in person? Call for a free consultation. I look forward to meeting you!

Dr. Salina Suy is a health and wellness advocate and general dentist in Utica. Want to learn more? Visit Facebook @smilewithdrsuy or