Cone Beam Computed Tomography and Your Braces

Cone Beam Tomography machine with dummy head

If you walk into your orthodontist’s office and see this machine, you are in luck! Your orthodontist has made an investment in accuracy and providing one of the best means of taking X-rays of your teeth and supporting structures.

The Advantage of Cone Beam Technology for Orthodontists

This is not your parents’ X-ray. This form of X-ray adds another D to the 2D visual equation, turning a two-dimensional “flat” picture into a three dimensional image that offers unparalleled accuracy and detail that is missing on 2D imaging.

Going from 2D to 3D transforms the information gathering stage for orthodontists, adding a new dimension (quite literally) of accuracy to how your doctor can diagnose and plan your individual orthodontic treatment.

With the 3D capabilities, Orthodontists have an uninterrupted and multi-plane view of teeth (both erupted teeth and those still to come through), how roots are orientated as well as any other anomalous structures that might impact the treatment.

How is the Image Formed in Cone Beam ?

The cone beam X-ray process uses similar radiographic principles to other X-rays, only this machine rotates around the head emitting a cone-shaped beam that takes hundreds of “slices” of information, which are then turned into a 1:1 image.

It is usually a short process, lasting anywhere from 10-20 seconds in which 160-600 images are projected onto an advanced detection panel (which will be different on different models) where the photons are detected and reconstructed into an image on a computer.

This composite picture allows your doctor to view the teeth, bone and connective tissue from numerous different angles. The advanced computer program that reconstructs the images also allows your orthodontist to manipulate the image on screen to view it from those different perspectives.

This short video from our own Dr. Miller explains the clear advantages to Cone Beam Computer Tomography.

YouTube player

Orthodontic Associates prides ourselves on staying on the cutting edge of technology, both in the types of braces we offer as well as the instruments and tools we use to make your experience in braces the best possible. With the increased accuracy that technological adds, the outcomes are better and in some instances quicker. As always, we look forward to making your smile!


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