CT Scan

Orange Coast Endodontics

Payal Dholakiya, DDS

Endodontist located in Irvine, CA

Is your regular dentist having trouble detecting the origin of your tooth pain? Dr. Payal Dholakiya uses the most advanced dental cone beam computed tomography (CT) scanning technology to help her patients figure out the cause of the most difficult to diagnose dental issues. The 3D-imaging technology she uses at Orange Coast Endodontics in Irvine, California allows her to develop precise treatment plans for even the most complex cases. Make an appointment to see Dr. Dholakiya today.

CT Scan Q & A

What is a dental cone beam computed tomography (CT) scan?

A dental cone beam CT scan is a procedure that involves a special type of X-ray machine that Dr. Dholakiya uses in situations where other more conventional dental or facial X-rays aren’t satisfactory. Because of radiation exposure from the scanner, the procedure isn’t performed unless it’s necessary.

The CT scanner Dr. Dholakiya uses generates 3D images of dental structures, soft tissues, nerve paths and bone in the craniofacial region in one single scan. Its state-of-the-art technology allows for more specific diagnostic findings and corresponding treatment planning.

An X-ray beam in the shape of a cone moves around the patient to generate a vast number of high quality images. This provides images of the bone and helps evaluate the presence of jaw diseases, dentition, bony structures of the face, nasal cavity, and sinuses.

What are some common uses of the procedure?

Dental cone beam CT is used for diagnosing and planning treatment for a variety of dental issues. It’s especially useful for more complicated cases that might involve the following:

  • Planning surgery for impacted teeth
  • Diagnosing joint disorders
  • Evaluating accurate placement of dental implants
  • Evaluating the jaw, sinuses, nerve canals and nasal cavity
  • Detecting, measuring and treating jaw tumors
  • Determining bone structure and tooth orientation issues
  • Locating the source of pain
  • Reconstructive surgery

How does the procedure work?

Dr. Dholakiya asks you to sit down in an exam chair or lie down on an exam table. You may be asked to wear a medical gown. You’ll then be positioned so that the beam is squarely positioned on the area of interest. You’ll also be asked to stay perfectly still.

The arm or gantry revolves around the head of the scanner in a full 360-degree rotation while capturing images from a multitude of angles. This usually lasts about 20-40 seconds.

In a single rotation, the scanner can produce around 150-200 high-resolution, 2D images, which are then digitally combined to form a single 3D image. Dr. Dholakiya uses this final product, which contains valuable information about your oral and craniofacial health, to make her evaluation.

Does it hurt?

There’s no pain associated with a cone beam CT exam, and you can resume your normal activities after the procedure is completed.