At our clinic we provide CBCT scanning in-house to many of our patients who are thinking about undergoing advanced dental treatment. This can be for Dental Implants, Orthodontics and removal of impacted teeth such as wisdom teeth. Our CBCT scanner will provide a detailed 3-D image of the teeth and jaws which cannot be obtained from a conventional x-ray machine. This is crucial when planning dental treatments in a safe and effective manner.
Information gathered from a CBCT scan for dental use
Unlike a conventional dental radiograph, a 3-dimensional CBCT scan will provide us with a huge amount of information. In some cases, it is comparable to taking upto 1000 individual xray images which are pieced together to formulate a 3 dimensional image of the patient’s head and neck anatomy.
The information must be carefully interpreted and reported upon to assess the patient’s suitability to have the proposed treatment, which in most cases could be for the placement of a suitably sized dental implant and bone grafting.
Information is only useful when it can be understood
However, the CBCT scan also provides crucial information of the health of the sinuses, nasal anatomy, orbital areas, major nerves and vessels. When assessed carefully, we can detect the presence of certain medical conditions which could be cancerous or non-serious, depending on the findings from the CBCT scan report. We take great pride in our thoroughness when reporting on our CBCT scans and although patients will be attending our clinic for ‘dental treatment’, I feel it is our duty as healthcare professionals to report on any other medical abnormalities when we have an opportunity to do so.
This is a very interesting point for many patients to consider. I have found that some patients may be travelling to ‘scanning facilities’ or to ‘cheaper clinics’ to have their CBCT scans performed. In many of these cases, the scan is performed without an in-depth report which may potentially leave medical pathology undetected and undiagnosed. The opportunity to refer to a specialist in secondary care is often missed if the CBCT scan has not been fully reported.
At our clinic, we welcome dentists to refer their patient’s to us if they requires a CBCT scan or for a full report to assess their patient’s scan. As well as helping us to provide higher standards of dental care, this revolutionary machinery could also help detect and treat sinister medical problems early.
Thank you for reading
Mohsin Patel BDS MJDF RCS (Eng)