Cone Beam CT Scan at Strathcona Dental Clinic

I-CAT imaging is a type of cone beam CT (computed tomography) scan. The i-CAT technology is much more advanced that a traditional CAT scan, CT scan or X-ray. While the images produced are similar to a traditional CT scan, the machine actually more closely resembles an X-ray. The machine uses an X-ray beam that is shaped like a cone, and this cone rotates 360 degrees around your head, creating a high-quality 3-dimensional image of the interior of your mouth – your teeth, your jawbone, the soft tissues and even your nerves. This image gives us a clear representation of everything that is going on inside of your mouth. Thanks to this image, we are able to make a more accurate diagnosis, and therefore create a more beneficial, customized, treatment plan.

Uses for I-CAT Imaging

The i-CAT scanner allows us to see things a traditional X-ray cannot show. It can be used to diagnose, and create treatment plans for, a variety of different oral health issues:

  • The best placement of dental implants after you have suffered tooth loss.
  • A better view of the condition of your jawbone. We can see bone resorption and determine if a bone graft is necessary prior to implants.
  • Examining the condition of your sinus cavities and nasal passageways. With the ability to see your sinuses, we can better determine the need for a sinus lift.
  • A close view of the nerve passageways.
  • Root canal treatment. I-CAT imaging allows us to see the internal anatomy of your teeth, which cannot be done with a traditional X-ray.
  • Finding and evaluating the condition of impacted teeth (wisdom teeth or other teeth).
  • Diagnosing pathological diseases that are not evident on a traditional X-ray.
  • The condition of your jaw in the case of temporomandibular jaw disorder (TMD).
  • Evaluating tumors in your jaw.
  • Reconstructive jaw surgery.

Getting Your Scan

Before you get your scan, you will first need to make a few preparations. You will need to remove any jewelry that you are wearing, including earrings, necklaces, as well as any facial piercings you may have. You will be required to remove glasses and hearing aids, along with any metal hair clips, pins, or ties with metal.
After you sit down for your scan, the process is actually quite simple. We will instruct you to place your chin on the rest, and we will then make any necessary adjustments. From the time the scan begins and when it ends, it takes less than a minute, but you must remain completely still. The cone beam circles completely around your head, taking a series of images. Just seconds after the scan is complete, the images that were taken form one 3-dimentional image that appears right on our computer monitor.

Benefits of I-CAT Imaging

I-CAT imaging provides a number of different benefits:

  • The procedure is pain-free and non-invasive.
  • High quality, high precision images.
  • Precise 1:1 measurements that no other form of dental X-ray can offer.
  • With a 3-dimensional image, we are provided with multiple angles. This allows for a better, more accurate diagnosis.
  • A single scan shows bone, soft tissue and your nerves.
  • We can manipulate the image, which allows us to zoom in on target areas.
  • With the image right on the computer screen, you can see what we see. This allows you to understand the diagnosis, and why we are making certain recommendations. It also allows you to become more actively involved in your own dental care.

Are There Any Risks Involved with I-CAT Imaging?

There are a couple of risks associated with i-CAT imaging. First, it is important to know that radiation is involved with this scan. However, the radiation levels are lower than those of a traditional CT scan. Not only that, but the radiation does not stay in the body. Because of this radiation, you may not be a candidate for this scan if you are breastfeeding, pregnant or planning to become pregnant. If you are being recommended for an i-CAT scan, it is because the benefits outweigh any potential risks involved. We will discuss the benefits and the risks further with you during your consultation.
With the use of i-CAT scan technology, we are able to get a much better view of your mouth than we ever could before. With the information, we get from the 3-D images, we are able to make a more accurate diagnosis, and provide a much better treatment plan, helping to keep your mouth in optimal health and performance. Contact Strathcona Dental Clinic or call 780-433-1154 today to learn more!