Radiation Exposure from Cone Beam CT: Should I Worry?

Question:

Jennifer asks:
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?

Answer:
Answered by: Dr. Michael Tischler

Woodstock, NY

Dear Jennifer,

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.

Ed explains:
"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."



Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational and informational purposes ONLY. It is not medical advice. The use of the Web Site is at your own risk. >>Read More
Expert Advice and Comments
Anonymous's picture

Cone Beam CT Scans

How is it that you are listed as a continuing education provider on a the website of Imaging Sciences International; the same company that manufactures cone beam CT-scan machines?

Have you ever received any perks from this company in relation to "educating" and/or promoting their product? If so, it's kinda like Phillip Morris paying a doctor to tell patients that there are no health risks associated with smoking.

Readers might want to reference a New York Times article written on November 23, 2010 that discusses the controversy associated with the growing use of cone beam scanners in dentistry.

As a practicing dentist, I can attest to the dental industry's focus on making more and more money. Dentists spend tens of thousands of dollars to attend courses designed to teach them how to make more money by selling the patient into more expensive procedures. New equipment is purchased based on how much profit it will bring to the dental practice with only secondary consideration given to any benefit to the patient's overall health.

How about a little DI$CLOSURE????


Anonymous's picture

re: NY Times Article

The NY Times article you reference was specifically focused on Cone Beam CT radiation overuse for children in orthodontics. The use of Cone Beam CT in implant dentistry on an older population is an entirely different discussion. I think you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who thinks that Cone Beam CT technology is overused for implant therapy for adults or that it represents a significant health threat for adults undergoing implant therapy. The fact is that Cone Beam CT provides an incredible benefit for implant dentistry.

Let's not get into ad hominem attacks here. It's better to focus on facts.

And if you bothered to actually read the post, it says straight out that one of the comments is from Imaging Sciences. So the disclosure is right there in the actual article. Nevertheless, there are other experts on this site who have no financial dealings with any company, who also would never place implants without a Cone Beam CT.


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