Recent articles in the press have raised important questions about the levels of radiation in medical CT scans and its effects on patients. At CCOMFS we do not use medical CT scans to obtain the anatomical information of oral and maxillofacial structures. In fact, we obtain what are called cone beam 3-D images using our i-CAT Cone Beam 3-D Imaging System.
Oral surgeons and other medical professionals rely on imaging technology to accurately map the anatomy of the patient before any incision is made. This allows for much greater precision, safety and a general reduction in recovery times.
However, there are important differences between medical CT scans and the images provided by the i-CAT 3-D Imaging system we use in Washington, DC. The dental imaging method, using the i-CAT system, allows oral surgeons to obtain 3-D images without exposing patients to the high levels of radiation that medical CT scans may. In addition to lower radiation doses, the i-CAT system allows us to provide these benefits to our patients:
- Reduced cost vs. medical CT
- The highest level of surgical predictability
- A quick and simple scan that takes only 9 seconds
- An open scan environment, no cramped spaces or claustrophobia
- Scan, diagnosis, treatment plan all provided at CCOMFS. One location, one visit
There is a principle that we as oral and maxillofacial surgeons use called ALARA. This refers to keeping the levels of radiation As Low As Reasonably Achievable. The i-CAT 3-D Imaging System allows us to obtain superior, distortion free 3-D images of the important oral and maxillofacial structures while keeping our patients free from the higher levels of radiation that a medical CT scan may expose them to.
Recently, Bruce Howerton, DDS, wrote an article that goes into great detail about the mechanics of cone bean scanning vs. medical CT scanning. In it he states, “As an oral maxillofacial radiologist and an educator, I firmly believe that with knowledge comes responsibility to provide patients with the best dental care in the safest way possible — a dental CBCT (i-CAT scan) accomplishes this goal without the additional risks involved with hospital scans.”
Put simply, we agree.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact our office in Washington, DC at (202) 386-7100.