3D Cone Beam Technology

The Next Generation of Dental X-Rays

3D Cone Beam Technology, Glendale Dentistry

Fifteen years ago I introduced digital imaging into my Glendale dental practice to improve diagnostic capabilities and reduce the radiation requirements of each exposure. Now we are introducing the latest in radiographic technology called 3D Cone Beam Technology. This technology allows me to capture and reproduce the detailed 3D anatomy of the skull in a reliable, affordable way, while emitting low doses of radiation. Using the combined advancements in CT scanning and 3D Sterio-lithic surgical and prosthetic computerized reconstruction, I am continuing my commitment to my patients of providing them with the most advanced and safest technology available.

Cone beam imaging is one of the most important breakthroughs in dental radiology, and has proven effective for a wide range of care and treatment applications. Our dentist located in Glendale states that cone beam technology has several features that make high-resolution, 3D imaging a reality. A digital x-ray scanner is mounted on a rotating arm that circles the patient’s head. As it rotates, the x-ray is projected in a carefully controlled, cone-shaped beam through the patient and onto an amorphous silicon flat panel or image intensifier sensor. The beam encompasses the patient’s entire head, so it only takes one pass to capture the complete skull anatomy. The resulting images are displayed on a computer screen.

The Benefits

  • Dramatically lower radiation emission: An average CT scan is about 600-700 microsieverts, while cone beam imaging is usually less than 70 microsieverts.
  • Short scan and reconstruction times: Scans take an average of about 20 seconds, and less than a minute later, images are reconstructed on the computer screen allowing to see—in 360°—undistorted, virtual, rotating models of the patient’s anatomy.
  • Better diagnosis: Bone thickness can be accurately measured to better determine implant candidates and better diagnosis of diseases or conditions.
  • The Cone Beam images have more intense details: Soft tissue, missing teeth, location of the nerve canals and the relationship between proposed implants and the opposite jaw are fully visible.

CBCT (Cone Beam Computer Tomography)

This video is an example of our capabilities using the new CBCT (Cone Beam Computer Tomography) machine that Dr. O'Brien has incorporated in his dental office.

This CAT scan uses less radiation than a full mouth series of X-Rays and only takes 20 seconds while the patient sits comfortably in a chair for a fraction of the cost of conventional CAT Scans. From the Scan Dr. O'Brien is able to complete a virtual surgery of any kind on his computer prior to entering the Operating Room. By completing the virtual surgery, Dr. O'Brien says that it reduces the time of actual surgery down to one third the time. It also allows Dr O'Brien to know what materials are needed for each individual surgery prior to the procedure.

This amazing technology makes all dental procedures more efficient, safer, less trauma, as well as reduce the post operative discomfort and healing time. Dr. O'Brien says, "I can't imagine doing any dental surgical procedure without the additional information provided by this new technology. It is truly the greatest technological breakthrough in dentistry that I have seen in the last decade. My patients love this new addition to the practice."

It Comes Back to the Patient

Cone beam imaging is undoubtedly essential as I strive for excellence in patient care. Its 3D detail and precision reveals what 2D can’t: the true spatial relationships, shapes and measurements of every structure in the human skull.

Comparative Chart

X-Rays, Dentist Glendale, CA

Traditional film x-ray:

  • Provides two-dimensional images of teeth and jaws when the patient is positioned properly in the chair.
  • Images are often distorted and magnified, making it difficult to Distinguish one tissue or bone area from another more difficult. Additionally it exposes patients to radiation.
Cosmetic Dentist Glendale, CA
Dentist Glendale, CA

Medical CT scanning:

  • Reduced radiation exposure, but still a high radiation dose.
  • Multiple revolutions.
  • Provides panoramic images; with the ability for computer-;enhanced image quality.
3D Cone Beam Technology, Glendale Dentistry

Cone beam imaging:

  • Low radiation dose.
  • One revolution with short scan and reproduction times.
  • Provides panoramic images with intense detail not readily visible in 2D scans.


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