Skip to main content

The power of 3D imaging for improving oral surgery

A lower arch generated with 3D imaging

The integration of three-dimensional imaging systems into oral and maxillofacial surgery practices has elevated patient care. With the ability to diagnose oral health conditions with greater accuracy than ever before, oral surgeons can now more easily identify issues and create precise surgical plans.

What is a CBCT digital imaging system?

CBCT, which stands for cone beam computed tomography, uses diverging x-rays in the shape of a cone to produce a 3D image. The system works in a similar fashion to a CT scanner, where the patient sits still as the CBCT machine rotates fully around their head. During the process, up to 200 images are taken from different angles. Then, all this data is compiled into a single three-dimensional model.

What can a CBCT image display?

CBCT images can show all the elements of your head and neck, including:

  • Bone
  • Soft tissues
  • Nerves
  • Roots of teeth
  • Cavities
  • Infections

Advantages for oral surgery

CBCT scans utilize less than 10% of the radiation of traditional medical imaging techniques and because the system is fast the process is more comfortable for the patient. Additional advantages of 3D imaging include:

  • Detailed images make it easier to diagnose complex conditions
  • Early detection of a wide range of oral health concerns
  • More accurate measurements of jaw dimensions

Dental implants and 3D imagery

CBCT scans are particularly valuable when planning complex tooth extractions or dental implant placement. 3D imagery makes it possible to more precisely determine implant size and identify the ideal placement position in relation to nerves, sinuses and adjacent tooth roots.