What’s the best CBCT for my practice? Part 2 – 2D + 3D vs 3D only?
In part 1, we talked about the field of view (FOV) and why it’s one of the most important factors for choosing the right CBCT for your practice.
In part 2, we will talk about the different imaging options for a potential CBCT machine.
So let’s get started.
2D + 3D imaging or 3D only?
Some CBCT machines come with the option to have a 2D panoramic and a lateral ceph arm to acquire cephalometric images. These will add to the cost of the machine as opposed to a 3D only option.
So one might wonder well if I have a 3D imaging CBCT why do I still need 2D imaging? After all, the software that comes with the machine will allow me to generate a 2D pan out of the CBCT image volume.
To answer this question, we will have to address different things:
The logic behind acquiring a 3D volume is to use the full data set in cross-sections as opposed to the generation of a 2D image. Acquiring 3D volume takes more time than a few seconds pan or less than a second ceph. Also the acquired volume needs to be processed from RAW data to an image volume in DICOM or other formats, and depending on the scan type (normal vs high resolution) and the voxel (volumetric pixel) size selected it can take minutes before the volume is ready to be viewed. In addition to generate a pan, you’ll have to manually draw the image curve in the software. Moral of the story, it takes a heck a lot of time to do this compared to a conventional pan.
The second issue is that the image quality of a CBCT pan is inferior to a conventional pan. There are many reasons for that but the conventional pan is sharper and more detailed even with the superimposition of structures.
Third is liability. When you acquire a 3D volume you’re responsible for reading ‘the entire’ image volume or finding an oral radiologist to read for you. Just taking a slice from the 3D volume to look at the pan does not cover you in case you missed a lesion or pathology outside the selected area.
Fourth is price. Are you willing to charge the patient a pan fee for taking all the time to generate the 3D volume vs few seconds to generate a conventional pan?
Lastly radiation dose. The radiation dose for a conventional pan or ceph is much less than a CBCT image volume. It’s important to follow ALARA principle every time you acquire a radiograph.
Comments? Feel free to write below and we’ll be happy to help. If you need a professional consultation to help you choose which CBCT machine is good for your practice needs, drop us a line in the contact us form on www.marcilan.com and one of our radiologists will be happy to assist you with that.