The introduction of Cone-Beam CT (CBCT) imaging for the maxillo-facial region has opened up new vistas for the use of three-dimensional (3D) imaging as a diagnostic and treatment planning tool for orthodontists, periodontists, implantologists, ENT physicians, and oral/maxillo-facial surgeons.
The three-dimensional imaging that CBCT generates allows for far more accurate diagnosis, treatment planning and monitoring, and analysis of outcomes than was possible with conventional two-dimensional images. Thanks to this revolutionary new imaging technology, coupled with our rapidly increasing understanding of the biological processes of maxillo-facial growth and development, we can now create and interact with virtual models of our patients’ tooth and jaw structures that enable us to provide a much higher level of treatment than ever before.
Taking the lead in the development of this technology is Quantitative Radiology (QR), the company that invented dento-maxillo-facial CBCT technology. QR, a wholly owned subsidiary of AFP Imaging and the undisputed industry leader in dental 3D imaging technology, manufactures the NewTom family of CBCT imaging products. QR has consistently provided the highest quality imaging systems to the dental community through pioneering technological updates to its products and its continuing development of new products which advance the technology it invented.
CT vs. CBCT
Traditional CT (CAT Scan) uses a very narrow fan beam that rotates around the patient acquiring one, or more, thin axial slice(s) with each revolution. To image a section of anatomy, many rotations must be completed – which means high radiation exposure.
With Cone Beam 3D Imaging, rather than a narrow fan beam, a cone shaped beam is used to acquire the entire volume in a single pass around the patient, resulting in much less radiation exposure.
3D Volumetric vs 2D Imaging
With 2D imaging, the letters are superimposed making it difficult to make out detail. With Volumetric Imaging, however, it is like removing a particular pane (slice) to examine it clearly and accurately.
Because the x-ray radiation is not on continuously, the 24-36 second duration of each scan translates to only 3.6-5.4 s of actually radiation exposure. A total of 360 individual images are taken, one per each degree of rotation.
Additionally, all NewTom systems incorporate Safe Beam™ technology, which automatically senses the size of the patient and drops the radiation dose by as much as 40% for younger, smaller patients, further reducing the total amount of radiation received.
Image Reconstruction and Reporting
When the scan has finished, the NewTom NNT software reconstructs the 360 images, transforming them into a three-dimensional database, representing the complete anatomy of the patient. This reconstructed volume consists of a series of axial images, the thickness of which can be graduated from 0.1 to 5 mm.
An unlimited number of these high-quality images can be constructed from the original volume, providing the operator with the ability to report on virtually any facet of the patient’s anatomy contained within the database. The NewTom software also allows you to measure, demarcate and visualize any aspect. You can distribute the reports using paper, videotape, email, CD or any other digital format. NewTom images can be acquired directly by Dolphin Imaging software, or outputted as a DICOM image for use with a wide variety of independent programs.