CBCT technology represents a paradigm shift in dental diagnosis. Routine x-rays are two-dimensional representations of one plane of a specific area of oral anatomy. Individual dental x-rays, although very focused and accurate for tooth decay diagnosis, often do not show other anatomic areas beyond teeth and their roots, possibly missing other areas of pathology.
For a broader and more comprehensive view of the oral cavity, a panoramic x-ray can be very helpful. The panoramic x-ray can present anatomic structures not routinely seen on a conventional set of full-mouth x-rays. With conventional dental x-rays, a diagnosis would be limited to a single plane, two-dimensional view of the oral cavity.
With the introduction of 3D CBCT technology into the realm of dental diagnosis, the clinician is now able to view 360’ views of any anatomic structure. This can provide the most complete view possible of hard and soft tissue anatomy. CBCT technology also provides the ability to create three dimensional models of the bony anatomic structures of the mouth. This is very useful in understanding the scope of oral pathology.