Cone-Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) and Virtual Implant Planning Software
Traditional x-rays only allow dentists and surgeons to see your mouth in a two-dimensional world. However, we live in a three-dimensional world. Often, when planning more extensive implant therapy, or attempting to decide whether or not other surgical procedures may be necessary, the dentist or surgeon may make use of a three-dimensional cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT). CBCT’s utilize about as much radiation as a standard panoramic x-ray (often used for evaluation of wisdom teeth prior to removal), yet allow for a richness of information that is unparalleled by standard x-rays.
In combination with CBCT data, a virtual surgery can then take place, allowing both the surgeon and the restoring dentist an optimal tool with which to communicate both of their planned procedures. Currently, it is possible to make surgical guides that replicate the exact virtual surgery on the computer, so that there are few to no surprises at the time of surgery as to where implants or bone grafts will be placed.
If necessary for your treatment, your dentist or referring surgeon may determine that a CBCT is necessary to understand the anatomy involved in surgical area, or to create a detailed virtual surgical