How Long Does a Dental CT Scan Take?

You must be well-versed with dental X-rays and their use in diagnosis of oral cavity issues but there is another, better option as well – CT. A dental CT (computed tomography) produces 3D images of the mouth with the help of a software. Its images are life-like and spacial that helps determine if one is a suitable candidate for an implant.  Typically, a dental CT scan can take between 20 to 40 seconds to create the images.  Let’s delve into more details.

How Is Dental CT Better Than X-Ray?

Dental CT scans are also known as cone beam computed tomography (CBCT). They have multiple advantages over standard 2D X-rays. They are advanced imaging techniques that provide a better picture of your mouth, making diagnosis more accurate. Here are some lauded advantages of a dental CT scan.

  1. Enhanced Image Quality and Attention to Detail

    There are no second opinions that dental CT scans take high-resolution, 3D images of the entire oral cavity. This is better in comparison with the flat X-rays. CBCT scans allow dentists to clearly visualize teeth, bones, and soft tissues from different angles and in cross-sectional slices as well. This improved image dissects small changes, defects, and abnormalities.

  2. Greater Accuracy in Diagnosis 

    The meticulous 3D images that are released after dental CT scans enable dentists to make accurate diagnosis of oral health issues, such as impacted teeth, bone loss, tumors, etc. This improvement leads to better treatment planning and results.

  3. Less Radiation Exposure

    You need not worry about the level of radiation for this one. Unlike medical CT scans, dental CBCT uses a significantly lower dose of radiation, making it a safer option. This helps especially for children and pregnant women.

  4. Precise Measurements 

    The 3D images that are produced after dental CT scans allow accurate measurements like volume and length, position of teeth, roots, and jaw structures. This precision is needed for procedures such as dental implant fixation.

How To Prepare For a Dental CT Scan?

A dental CT scan can take around 15 minutes and does not need an IV contrast.

  • Wear The Appliance – If your dentist has provided an appliance, wear it during the scan and be comfortable with how it should be placed.
  • Clothing – It’s best to wear loose-fitting clothing that is comfortable with no metal like zippers or underwire in bras. This step is crucial since metal can blur the images.
  • NO Valuables – You must leave all your valuable items at home so that there is no worry about their misplacement. In the case of dental appliances, you can keep your things during the exam. Remove any non-fixed dentures or jewelry that may interfere with the scanning area.
  • No Children – Unless it is a child that needs to undergo dental CT, they are not allowed in the exam room. However, if you cannot arrange for a babysitter, they can sit comfortably in the waiting room.

Closing Note

Want to learn more about ways we can be of help? Contact The Smile Artisans. We provide comprehensive dental care to solve all your oral queries. Dr. Liza Shevchenko has experience and training in orthodontic care and has become a Diplomat of the American Board of Orthodontics. Dr. Virgilio Gutierrez is our expert dental specialist with a Fellowship from the German Society of Oral Implantology. He incorporates advanced techniques in his methods, and together, the duo works with their team to give you a beautiful smile! Dial (832) 220-6087 to schedule an appointment.

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