My dentist is telling me to go to a special center to get a Cone Beam CT. What is the difference between a traditional CT and Cone Beam CT? Is there a cost saving using CBCT or traditional CT?
A Cone Beam CT is the standard of care for imaging for placement of dental implants. A traditional CT performed in a hospital has around 80% more radiation than a Cone Beam CT.
It is difficult to explain online how the technology for Cone Beam CT differs than a traditional Medical CT. However, in short, a Cone Beam CT scanner uses a cone shaped x-ray beam rather than a conventional linear fan beam, as is the case with Medical CT, to provide images of the bony structures of the skull. As result, the medical CT scanner provides a set of consecutive slices of the patient while the Cone Beam CT scanner provides a volume of data. If you are interested further in the technology, you can find out more about Cone Beam CT at the Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cone_beam_ct
In terms of the benefits of Cone Beam CT over regular CT:
*X-Ray Radiation exposure to the patient is up 10 times less than a regular CT scanner.
*Much faster scan time. Scan on a CBCT takes between 10-40 sec, while on a regular CT scanner it takes a few minutes.
*Cheaper, average price of a CBCT scan could be up to 50% less than a regular MDCT scan.
You can find Cone Beam CT's throughout the US at various imaging centers or in many dental offices. I have had a Cone Beam CT in my office for the past 4 years and use it daily.
The costs for a Cone Beam Ct varies between $250-$600 depending on where you go. Any dentist can utilize this technology through 3rd party image processing centers that read the CT and convey the data to a dentist.