I am worried about radiation exposure from a Cone Beam CT scan and am thus inclined to go to an implantologist who uses only a panaromic x ray. How do the radiation exposures compare?
I do not place dental implants without a cone beam CT. The Cone beam CT offers a 3D view while a panoramic x-ray is only 2 dimensional.
A cone beam CT's radiation is equivalent to a full mouth series of x-rays. That is done once a year in most offices. The cone beam CT is 20% of the radiation of a hospital based fan beam CT machine. I would recommend having a cone beam CT done.
In case you are interested in understanding why the radiation from Cone Beam CT is lower, a good explanation on Cone Beam CT is given by Ed Marandola, the President and CEO of Imaging Sciences International, the largest manufacturer of Cone Beam CT worldwide, over at OsseoNews.com.
"With cone beam CT scanning the patient is subjected to far less radiation, because we use a focused beam with a physically larger sensor allowing us to capture all the axial slices covering the face and the jaws in one scan. Since we capture the entire volume with one scan, there is no redundant overlap of slices, resulting in major reduction of radiation. Reducing exposure to radiation while maximizing the information content should be a goal of all diagnostic imaging."
And in another post on OsseoNews.com, Arun Singh, the Chief Technology Officer of Imaging Sciences explained:
"The fact is that the effective dose delivered by a standard iCAT Cone Beam CT scan is at least 10 times less than a medical CT of the same region, but can be 20 to 30 times less in many instances, depending on the type of equipment and other factors."