One of the most amazing imaging technology now available to dentists is cone beam CT (CBCT) such as the iCat. Imagine the difference between looking at a photo of an object, like a car for example, and handling a complete model of the same car. The photo only allows you to see one side of the car. The model allows you to see the car from any direction and determine depth and relationships which would be impossible using just the photo.
CT stands for Computed Tomography which is a short version of CAT, Computed Axial Tomography. A CT scan is a diagnostic imaging method in which a computer is used to generate a three-dimensional image of the internal of an object using a series of two-dimensional X-ray image slices taken around a single axis of rotation.
Cone Beam refers to the type of X-Ray projection and is important because it allows users to image a small well defined volume such as the lower face and mouth. Dr. Dale Miles, one of the leading US experts in Cone Beam CT analysis notes, “These devices allow oral radiologists to acquire images of only the head and neck region of the patient, at greatly reduced absorbed x-ray doses compared to conventional medical CT, with full 3D volume rendering capability.”
CBCT is ideal (maybe even essential) for implant placement. It can also be used for Orthodontics and pre-surgical planning.