Digital Orthodontics Symposium 2019

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CBCT Diagnosis in Orthodontics

Learning objectives

  • To understand the principles of 3D imaging compared to 2D techniques in orthodontics
  • To understand radiation safety and when to prescribe CBCT scans in orthodontics
  • To know how to minimize radiation exposure for young children
  • To understand basic software tools for orthodontic diagnosis and where the pitfall can be found
  • To understand the concepts of the virtual patient in orthodontics

Over the last 10 years, 3D Cone Beam CT has rapidly gained a central position in dental diagnosis, next to the traditional 2D methods, especially in orthodontics. The last generation of this 3D imaging technology delivers extremely high resolution images at very low dose which allows us to improve orthodontic treatment planning.

However, without proper understanding of 3D imaging technique, overexposure of our patients is once more at risk, especially in the field of orthodontics given the often young age of the patient. It is thus extremely important to gain proper knowledge on its use and follow the proper guidelines to keep the doses ALARA, as low as reasonably achievable. Furthermore, the risk of misinterpretation has increased with 3D volumes, given the large amount of data and tremendous amount of software tools, so it is imperative for clinicians to gain proper knowledge and understanding of 3D datasets and their manipulation before rushing into a quick orthodontic diagnosis.

It is therefore the objective of this lecture to cover the basic diagnostic tools in orthodontics and depict where the several pitfalls may lead to misinterpretation. Several clinical cases will be shown, from basic localized orthodontic applications like impacted canines, to a more complex orthognatic planning which will require more advanced software tools like TMJ or airway analysis.

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