Best Dental Hungary: 3D X-ray


Physicians always has to ensure maximum safety for their patients, especially in case of the most serious operations. Our clinic was one of the first institutions in Hungary to offer 3-dimensional image reconstruction using a Gendex Cone Beam CT device manufactured in the United States. Every implantation procedure and any oral surgery can be planned and performed in complete safety, since the oral surgeon performing the intervention has surveyed the surgical area from all directions before the operation: where the canal of the mandibular or maxillary nerve runs relative to a wisdom tooth that has not grown in yet; whether or not the root of an upper molar actually reaches the sinus as seen in the panoramic dental X-ray; or whether the bone is wide enough for an implant, etc.


What is the benefit of a Cone Beam CT (CBCT) compared with conventional two-dimensional panoramic dental X-rays?


Distortion varies in different areas of conventional panoramic images, the extent of distortion depends on the device's manufacture. In addition, all anatomical structures present between the detector and the source of radiation during the acquisition are projected on the image, so certain anatomical details are not visible or do not have a clear contours and are blurred. These shadows make evaluation of images significantly more difficult.


This CBCT's unique new form of imaging enables the preparation of full scale three-dimensional images of the area of interest without any shadows and from multiple directions. In addition, not only the amount but the quality of the bone can also be analysed in the images.


Why is CBCT better than a medical CT?


Patients are exposed to minimal radiation during a CBCT compared to conventional medical CT (conventional medical CT devices are used to examine different areas of the body such as the spine and skull). The radiation exposure of the patient during a CBCT is similar to that of currently used conventional dental imaging procedures, which is 1% of the radiation exposure of a medical CT. Scanning with a medical CT takes minutes while the examination with a CBCT takes only 20–40 seconds.


A Cone Beam CT is a special digital X-ray imaging procedure designed to examine the upper and lower jaws and the teeth with the needs of dentistry, oral surgery, implantology, orthodontics, prosthetics, parodontology, and dento-maxillo-facial radiologists in mind.


How is a CBCT image prepared?


The CBCT device includes a computer, a radiation source, and a detector mounted on the opposite side of the radiation source. Depending on the settings, the device completes a 360˚ rotation around the patient’s head in 10–40 seconds; its operation is similar to that of the panoramic device in this aspect. The CBCT prepares series of two-dimensional images with cone beams and creates a three-dimensional database from these while a conventional computer tomography device performs imaging in layers during its 360˚ rotation. Exposure is not continuous as in the case of a conventional CT, exposures are made at certain angles. Therefore a CBCT causes minimal radiation exposure compared to the radiation dose of a CT, and this is of great importance.


For the images prepared by the Gendex gxcb-500 device there is no need to put film, a device to hold film or a cardboard tab to bite on in the patient’s mouth. The device looks like a conventional panoramic X-ray device but is much more comfortable as the patient can sit and is not surrounded by an enclosed ring which could cause claustrophobia.


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