Cone Beam 3D X-Ray
First in the state.
The Conebeam CT unit Dr. Harrell chose to use in his office is the iCAT by Imaging Sciences, International Hatfield, PA.
Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT or CVCT) scanners have been available for craniofacial imaging since 1999 in Europe and more recently (2001) in the United States. The scanner uses a cone shaped x-ray beam rather than a conventional linear fan beam to provide images of the bony structures of the skull. Conventional medical CT scanners use a single row or a series (4, 8, 12, 32 and now 64) of solid state detectors paired with a fan shaped beam to capture the attenuated x-ray. Cone Beam CT scanners use a square 2 dimensional array of detectors to capture the cone shaped beam. As a result the medical CT scanner provides a set of consecutive slices of the patient while the Cone Beam CT scanner provides a volume of data. Subsequently reconstruction software is applied on the cone beam CT volumetric data to produce a stack of 2D gray scale level images of the anatomy.
The compact size and relatively low radiation dosage of the Cone Beam CT scanner makes it ideally suited for imaging the craniofacial region, including dental structures. With the increasing accessibility of Cone Beam CT imaging, this modality is emerging as the imaging "standard of care" for the number of diagnostic assessments of the bony components of the face.
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