Even the most skilled general dentists sometimes find surprises in the anatomy of their patients’ mouths that they don’t expect.
Fortunately, breakthroughs in technology like CBCT 3D machines make those uncommon cases far easier to handle. When the dentist’s job is made easier, both they and their patients are made much happier as a result.
What is CBCT?
CBCT (cone beam computed tomography) is a way to look at the bones and teeth in 3–D using x-rays that project in a cone-shaped pattern onto a digital receiver and then are compiled into three-dimensional images with computer software.
Making use of CBCT 3D technology allows Dr. Huff to evaluate the anatomy of tooth pulp chambers in much greater detail than can be seen by standard dental x-rays, recognize pulp stones that weren’t noticeable originally, and catch atypical bone loss and tooth fractures more readily than older technology would permit. Making use of the 3–D technology makes treatment planning easier and far more efficient.
This machine also allows Dr. Huff to better evaluate and diagnose temporomandibular joint disorders, or TMD. TMD refers to a group of hard and soft tissue disorders resulting in damage to the muscles and ligaments that support the jaw around the head, neck, and teeth. CBCT allows easy visualization of how the jaws, teeth, and jaw joints relate to one another. For example, the CBCT image below shows a fractured jaw in a patient who presented for new complete denture therapy, and it significantly altered the way Dr. Huff made the denture specific to her needs.