The Benefits of CBCT in Orthodontics

Cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) has infiltrated every dental specialty over the past few years, including orthodontics. In addition to aiding in the assessment of skeletal and dental structures, localizing and evaluating impacted teeth and supernumeraries and TMJ assessment, CBCT also plays a vital role in airway analysis, the planning of temporary anchorage devices, the fabrication of custom orthodontic appliance and digital model creation and storage. Other benefits include improved diagnoses, faster examinations and enhanced patient communication and case acceptance.

Diagnosis and Treatment

TMJ Assessment—CBCT systems with multiple fields of view give doctors the flexibility to assess temporomandibular joint changes, as well as the surrounding structures. Not only are CBCT scans more accurate than 2D imaging, but one 360 degree scan can capture both the right and left TMJ, thus simplifying patient positioning.

Airway Analysis—As airway analysis becomes more widespread in orthodontics, dedicated 3D imaging software will allow doctors to visualize constrictions by segmenting the airway in a few clicks. These visually appealing 3D images can also help doctors communicate with patients.

Temporary Anchorage Devices (TADs)—CBCT gives doctors a highly detailed overview of bone quality and quantity, the location of the sinuses and root proximity, all vital to know before considering placing TADs. Three-dimensional imaging software can also simulate implant placement  for increased confidence and a more accurate treatment planning. Continue reading

The Importance of Knowing Normal Anatomy in CBCT Scans

The acquisition of CBCT scans is probably one of the most mundane tasks, but it is an important part of the imaging process. Post-acquisition involves viewing and interpreting the scans. Although the maxillofacial region is complex, by virtue of familiarity, most dentists can interpret this area very efficiently despite the complex nature of anatomy and variances in this region. Understanding what is considered normal is the first step to identifying abnormalities that could pose a challenge in the treatment planning.

Normal anatomy can be broadly divided into the maxillary and mandibular regions.

When visualized, the upper regional anatomy is comprised of (but not limited to) the bilateral maxilla, as well as the nerves and vascular supply of the region and the maxillary sinus and other paranasal sinuses (in part or full, depending on the field of view). Along with these areas, the, Osteomeatal complex and orbits are the most significant.

Maxilla- Coronal View of Bilateral Maxillary Sinus

Maxilla- Coronal View of Bilateral Maxillary Sinus

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