Cone beam computerized tomography (CBCT) is a three dimensional X-ray scan of your teeth, bone, and surrounding oral anatomy. CBCT scans are now the standard of care in endodontics. They provide a more accurate image of the tooth when compared to the standard 2 dimensional dental X-rays. Endodontists have extensive training at interpreting CBCT scans. Your endodontist will require a CBCT scan that is specific for endodontic diagnosis and shows the smallest details of the tooth. If you already have a CBCT scan, but it is not an endodontic specific scan, you will be asked to take on in our office.

Some things your endodontist will be looking for in the CBCT include:

  1. The number of canals in a tooth
  2. The extent of bone loss
  3. Evaluating dental trauma
  4. Identifying possible cracks and root fractures
  5. Inspection of healing after treatment

What to Expect

An endodontic assistant will either have you sit or stand next to the CBCT machine while it rotates around your head. This process lasts less than 1 minute. The CBCT does not take a scan of the whole mouth, but rather focuses on the tooth in question and several neighboring teeth. After you’ve completed your scan, you’ll be taken to an exam room while your endodontist interprets the CBCT.

Cost Associated with CBCT

The cost of the CBCT is broken into two parts; First, is the use of the technology. Second, is the interpretation. Dental CBCTs are approximately 1/5 the cost of a hospital CT. Most insurance companies do not cover the cost of a dental CBCT. We make every effort to inform patients of the cost prior to appointments. As a specialty dental practice our doctors require the information from the CBCT to provide an accurate diagnosis giving patients the best opportunity for success.