cone beam ct scans

Why Use Cone Beam CT Scan?

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

Have you ever had a “cat” scan? Cone-beam computed tomography systems (CBCT) are a variation of traditional computed tomography (CAT scan)systems that we are familiar with.

These amazing machines provide dentists with a fast, non-invasive way of diagnosing dental problems. Regular dental x-rays show a 2 dimensional representation of the teeth and surrounding tissues – this is great for some purposes. A Cone Beam CT scan shows us a three-dimensional  image of the patient’s teeth, mouth, jaw, neck and throat. Not only can we see  cavities and abscesses, like a regular x-ray, but we can see soft tissues and nerves as well. All this with one scan!

Cone Beam CT scans are a wonderful way of assessing problems with the teeth and mouth and for planning treatments like:

  • surgical planning for impacted wisdom teeth.
  • diagnosing temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ).
  • accurate placement of dental implants.
  • evaluation of the jaw, sinuses, nerve canals and nasal cavity.
  • detecting, measuring and treating jaw tumors.
  • determining bone structure and tooth orientation.
  • locating the origin of pain.

For patients, receiving a Cone Beam CT scan is quick and easy. The device simply rotates around your head and the data is rendered into a full color 3-D representation. The dentist is able to manipulate the image to see it from many different angles making diagnosis and treatment easier. Because the beam is very focused and only one scan can give so much information the amount of radiation exposure is minimal.

Find out more about cutting edge dental technology by contacting Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-391-8777.



Why Do You Need Dental X-Rays?

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

Do you hate dental x-rays? Have you ever wondered why the dentist is so insistent on updating your dental x-rays every couple of years? 

Dental x-rays are digital pictures of the teeth, bones, and surrounding soft tissues and dentists use them to find cavities, bone loss, and hidden dental problems and structures (like wisdom teeth). Dentists need this information in order to diagnose and treat problems that we can’t see with our naked eye.

Remember shoving that hard, square piece of film in your mouth and then waiting and waiting for the x-rays to develop? Times have changed and so have dental x-rays. Digital x-ray sensors are much more comfortable and we don’t have to wait for films to develop – the image is instant! This technology is very convenient for both doctor and patient when performing treatments such as root canal therapy.

  • Periapical x-rays show the entire tooth and the bone below that supports the tooth. These x-rays help us find problems below the gum line or in the jaw such as impacted teeth, tumors or bone changes. This series of x-rays is usually taken at the patients first visit.
  • Bitewing x-rays are taken periodically and help us check for decay between teeth and help show if the bite is in proper alignment. They can also show bone loss from gum disease or if an infection is present.
  • Panoramic x-rays are a terrific tool for dentists. These x-rays show us a full panoramic view of the jaws, teeth, sinus and nasal area and the temporomandibular joint (jaw joint or TMJ).
  • Cone Beam CT is a highly advanced form of imaging. Cone beam technology provides a three-dimensional, digital image of structures beneath the surface of the teeth and gums. This view includes teeth roots, internal canals, and bone structure. CBCT (Cone-Beam Computed Tomography) scans are similar in detail to traditional medical CTs, but taken in a fraction of the time and are highly targeted meaning very low radiation exposure.

Radiation exposure from digital x-rays is very low. Flying across country in an airplane exposes us to more radiation than a complete set of digital x-rays. Without x-rays it is impossible for dentists to diagnose and treat many oral health problems such as broken teeth, tooth decay, bone loss or bone changes due to disease, cysts, tumors and infections.

Schedule your next appointment by contacting Wilbanks Smile Center at 706-886-9439 today. Wilbanks Smile Center is your full-service dental office located in beautiful Toccoa, GA and serving all surrounding areas.

Cone-Beam CT Offers Advantages for TMJ Patients

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

Using cone-beam CT offers advantages over traditional two dimensional x-rays for diagnosing temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) and facial pain according to a recently published paper.Cone beam CT can help diagnose TMJ pain in Toccoa, GA. A

lmost 50% of elderly people may experience pain in the head, neck or mouth and orofacial pain is also very common among teens and younger adults. It is often hard to diagnose the reason for this pain because it can be attributed to TMD, neuralgia, headache or dental problems. TMD, also called TMJ, is considered one of the primary causes of this type of pain.

Cone-beam CT and its ability to render a three-dimensional view makes it a unique tool for accurately evaluating the health of the structures of the face and jaw. The authors of this paper wrote, “Diagnostic imaging, when indicated, is an important part of the examination process for TMD and orofacial pain patients.”

Headaches are a common complaint among patients suffering from orofacial pain and are a strong indicator for using cone-beam CT as a diagnostic tool. Many “migraine” patients find that their headaches are resolved once the problem with their jaw is diagnosed and treated.

If you experience jaw pain or clicking, headache, facial pain, sore or stiff neck you may have a temporomandibular joint disorder. Many problems with the jaw joint are caused by grinding or clenching the teeth. Most people who grind or clench are not aware they are doing this and many only grind at night. Other TMD issues are caused by a poor bite or old dental work. A dentist who has been trained in caring for patients with TMD can evaluate, diagnose and treat this problem allowing you to live without headache or facial pain.

Find out more about diagnosing and treating TMD by contacting Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-886-9439.


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