At Vero Implants and Periodontics, we use our Planmeca ProMax 3-D Cone Beam Volumetric Tomography Imaging System to provide accurate 3-D CT scans of your mouth and jaw. This gives us the ability to place dental implants with unparalleled precision.
Doctors regularly use CT scans with patients to determine diagnosis and as support for medical procedures. The term CT scan, or CAT scan, has become a term regularly associated with serious injuries such as those to the head. You’ve probably heard the term several times and maybe even had one yourself but do you really know what it is? Here’s some information to help you understand what a CT scan is and why they’re so important.
What is a CT scan?
Computed Tomography (CT) imaging, also known as a computed axial tomography (CAT) scan, involves rotating x-ray equipment that, combined with a digital computer, obtains advanced images of the body. CT scans can produce cross sectional images of the body’s organs and tissues. It also has the ability to provide views of soft tissue, bones, muscle, and blood vessels without sacrificing clarity. This is more advanced than other types of imaging, which are much more limited in the types of images that they can provide.
Difference Between CT Scans and Other Imaging
To understand how a CT scan is different than other types of imaging of the body, consider an x-ray of the head. Basic x-ray techniques can show images of the bone structures of the skull. Additionally, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can show blood vessels, soft tissue, and clear, detailed images of bony structures that otherwise wouldn’t be able to be viewed.
An x-ray angiography, a technique used to view the inside of blood vessels and organs, provides a good look at the blood vessels of the head but not the soft tissue. A CT scan provides a view of the soft tissue, bones, and blood vessels for a much more comprehensive image of the head.
Due to its ability to provide a comprehensive view of the body, CT imaging is often used for diagnostic purposes. It’s the chief imaging method used in diagnosing a variety of cancers including those affecting the lungs, pancreas, and liver. The scan allows physicians to confirm that the tumors exist, pinpoint its exact location, accurately measure the size of the tumor, and determine whether or not it has spread to neighboring tissue.
CT scans are also used for the planning and administering of radiation cancer treatments. The results of the scan allow doctors to intricately plan certain types of surgeries, guide biopsies, and help with minimally invasive surgeries.
CT scans are also a valuable tool for the diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal disorders and injuries. The clear images of bones, muscles, and blood vessels allow for this. They can also be used to measure bone mineral density to detect injuries to internal organs and to diagnose and treat certain vascular diseases that, if left undetected and untreated, could potentially cause renal failure, stroke, or death.
What is CBCT?
A Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) scan is a compact, faster, and safer version of a CT scan. With the use of a cone shaped x-ray beam, the size of the scanner, radiation dosage, and time needed for the scanning is dramatically reduced. The small size of the scanner allows it to easily fit in a dental practice, which makes it ideal for dental scans and is easily accessible by patients.
The time of a full CBCT scan is typically less than one minute and the radiation dosage is up to 100 times less than that of a regular CT scanner.
Our Planmeca ProMax 3-D Cone Beam Volumetric Tomography Imaging System uses advanced technology, which allows for ideal resolutions and dose levels while always complying with Planmeca’s ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) principle. This enables us to give our patients a quick and simple scan so that we can ensure exact precision for their procedure.
CT scans, or CAT scans, are often used in the medical field to ensure full and correct diagnosis and to ensure successful procedures. At Vero Implants and Periodontics, we use the same technology on our patients to ensure they receive the best possible care that they so richly deserve.