WelcomeProceduresDental VideosFAQsSmile GalleryAppointmentsReviewsBlogService AreasContact
Diagnostics & Prevention
3D Imaging (CBCT)

Like An MRI For Your Teeth – At A Fraction Of The Cost

It’s an exciting time to be providing dental services because there are technological breakthroughs coming at a rapid pace. At Brighton Dental in San Diego, we’re pleased to embrace new technology whenever possible, and we’re excited to now offer Cone Beam 3D Imaging, also called Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT).

Being able to see your teeth in 3D means we can see cross-sections of teeth, understand spacing better and even see your jaw, sinuses and nerves in greater detail than ever before.


Understanding Cone Beam 3D Imaging

Rather than seeing just a 2-dimensional image of your teeth as we can with bite-wing x-rays and other traditional radiographs, Cone Beam 3D Imaging adds a layer of dimension and clarity to your diagnosis that we’ve never had available before. This 3D imagery means we can see undistorted detail regarding the spatial relationships of the teeth, jawbone and other nearby structures, including nerve bundles and the sinuses.

CBCT also allows for a cross-section image of teeth – something that simply isn’t possible with 2D x-rays. Think of the results of this scan as a combination of a medical CT scan with panoramic dental imaging.

Here’s how it works: Our special machine sends safe, low-power x-rays to the areas being imaged in a divergent cone shape. The x-rays start from a single point and fan out into cone instead of staying in a single column – just like the water from a garden hose sprayer set on a wide pattern. A sensor on the other side from the machine receives the imaging data, then a computer uses a specially created set of algorithms to assemble a 3D image we can look at from all angles and take apart into slices, all of which we can view on an ordinary computer monitor. The images are spectacular to look at and exceedingly useful in diagnosing.

You can see the amazing quality of the imaging in this video:



There’s no other tool available that allows us to see cross-sections of teeth – or to see the positioning and alignment of teeth and related structures in such detail.

Easy And Comfortable For You

Getting these remarkable 3D images from the Cone Beam 3D Imaging machine is very much like taking a panoramic x-ray. The scanner rotates around your head for about 15 seconds, and you’re never enclosed or in any pain or discomfort. Wearing loose clothing is a good idea, and we will ask you to remove jewelry and other metal objects that might get in the way of the image, including your glasses and hairpins. You should also remove hearing aids and removable dental work like metal-containing partials.

Please understand that 3D imaging does not take the place of tried-and-true traditional bite-wing x-rays and panoramic images. But we may recommend that you have 3D imaging done if those x-rays don’t show everything we need to see.

The process is as safe as it is painless and simple. Radiation levels from 3D imaging of this kind are lower than from a medical CT scan and covers only a small area. While there’s a chance your dental insurance may cover this type of scan – and we will happily submit the claim for you – most insurance companies will not cover a CBCT scan.

At Brighton Dental, we strive to be San Diego’s best holistic, biocompatible dental office, and that means staying on top of the technology that allows us to best take care of your dental and oral health. Cone Beam 3D Imaging or Cone Beam Computed Tomography is a remarkable tool we can use on your behalf – to see the clearest picture possible of your needs.