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International Poster Journal of Dentistry and Oral Medicine



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Int Poster J Dent Oral Med 12 (2010), No. 3     15. Sep. 2010

Int Poster J Dent Oral Med 2010, Vol 12 No 3, Poster 501

Cone-beam computed tomography: Small cone big scoop!

Seeing 3D just like the movies... but without the need of 3D glasses

Language: English

Dr. Archana R. Shenoy, Dr. Sushma P, Prof. Dr. Ashok Lingappa, Prof. Dr. Sujatha G. P,
Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Bapuji Dental College and Hospital Davangere, Karnataka, India

December 4th-6th, 2009
XXI National Conference of Indian Academy of Oral Medicine and Radiology 2009
Modern Dental College and Research Centre, Indore, India


Cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) is the latest advancement in diagnostic imaging that has begun to emerge as a potentially low dose cross-sectional technique for visualizing bony structures in the maxillofacial region.

CBCT yesterday... today... tomorrow...
Pioneers in X-ray computed tomography: Sir Godfrey Hounsfield and Allan McLeod Cormack
First CT scanner - 1972
First CBCT for angiography - 1982
First CBCT in dentistry - 1998

MVCBCT (Mega Voltage CBCT)

Abb 1: Sir Godfrey Hounsfield Abb 2: Allan McLeod Cormack
Abb 3: Mega Voltage CBCT
Abb 4: Principle


CBCT scanners utilize a 2D detector and cone-shaped source of ionizing radiation allowing for a single rotation of gantry to generate a scan of the entire region of interest.
How does it work?

X-ray generation:
3D X-ray beam with circular collimation → Cone shaped beam

Image detection system:
Image intensifier tube/ charged coupled device combination or flat panel detector arrays

Image reconstruction:
Acquisition of single projection images known as "basis" images and reconstruction using Feldkamp software algorithm

Image display:
Axial, sagittal and coronal planes

Diagnostic value:
1. Dentomaxillofacial imaging
2. Orthodontic planning
3. Periodontal diseases
4. TMJ analysis
5. Cephalometric analysis
6. Jaw pathologies
7. Radiotherapy guidance
8. Implant site assessment
9. Impacted tooth evaluation

Medical applications:
1. Interventional radiography
2. Angiography
3. Mammography
4. Airway assessment

1. Size: reduced
2. Cost: ¼ to 1/5 of conventional CT
3. Rapid scan time: less than 30 seconds
4. Submillimeter resolution: 0.4 mm to as low as 0.125 mm
5. Patient dose reduction: 52-1025 μSv = 4-77 digital panoramic radiographs
6. Interactive analysis: for real-time dimensional assessment and measurements
7. Image artifact: reduced

1. Image noise
2. Poor soft tissue contrast

Abb 5: Dentomaxillofacial imaging Abb 6: Orthodontic planning
Abb 7: Periodontal diseases Abb 8: TMJ analysis
Abb 9: Cephalometric analysis Abb 10: Jaw pathologies
Abb 11: Radiotherapy guidance Abb 12: Implant site assessment
Abb 13: Impacted tooth evaluation
Abb 14: CBCT Scanner


The ability of CBCT to provide images in three dimensions with a high level of detail makes it a very attractive method for many dental applications.
There is no doubt that cone-beam technology will become an important tool in dental and maxillofacial imaging over the coming decades.


  1. White SC, Pharoah MJ. Oral Radiology - principles and interpretation. 6th edn. India: Elsevier; 2009. p.225-243.
  2. Miracle AC, Mukherji SK. Conebeam CT of the head and neck, Part 2: clinical applications. Am J Neuroradiol 2009 Aug;30:1285-92.
  3. Scarfe WC, Farman AG. What is cone-beam CT and how does it work. Dent Clin North Am 2008;52:707-730.


2D - 2 dimensional
CT - Computed tomography
CBCT - Cone-beam computed tomography

This Poster was submitted by Dr. Archana R. Shenoy.

Correspondence address:
Dr. Archana R. Shenoy
Bapuji Dental College and Hospital
Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology
Davangere - 577 004
Karnataka, India