CBCT Imaging (Cone Beam Computed Tomography)

Print option:  CBCT Imaging

Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) refers to a cone-shaped tomographic imaging beam that is rotated around a patient’s head to obtain concentrated images of a narrow field of the body, as in the case of dental views. These images are then processed by software programs that generate a 3-D image of the patient’s anatomy: dental (teeth); oral and maxillofacial (mouth, jaw, and neck); which are used in diagnosis and treatment planning for the patient. CBCT provides an image of hard tissue that has no distortion and is anatomically correct.


There’s a good chance that the doctor you will be seeing will need to obtain one or more x-rays of your jaw, teeth or facial skeleton (and/or associated soft tissue structures) during the diagnostic evaluation (or workup) of your condition, or during treatment or follow-up of your condition.

Often times films (or copies of films) from your referring dentist can be utilized without the need for additional imaging; however, please be aware many times these film images are of inadequate orientation or quality (particularly when an image has been transferred to paper) and critical areas of anatomy cannot always be discerned adequately in order to make an informed decision (transferring radiographic data from electronic media to paper can result in significant loss of image resolution and clarity). In these cases a new image in our office will need to be obtained.

It is the desire of Oral Surgery Associates to obtain the highest quality clinical/radiographic data in the safest manner (lowest radiation dose) and at the lowest cost to our patients.

Oral Surgery Associates has made an investment in providing the convenience and safety of cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) imaging directly in our office to you.

What are some common uses of the procedure?

What type of image will I have during my appointment?

  • Most patients will benefit from an initial screening panoramic film ($96).
  • Based upon anatomical information obtained from the panoramic film, additional imaging to discern more detail in areas of concern may be required.
  • The cone beam scan is more expensive ($220 to $336) but provides a vastly larger amount of anatomical data upon which to make clinical decisions.
  • Some patients may choose to proceed directly with a cone beam scan and skip the Panorex film. Given the current capabilities and low dosage of cone beam technology, this is a reasonable option.

Does Insurance coverage for Cone-beam CT imaging exist?

Most of the scans we obtain are for dental purposes, not medical; hence, medical insurance typically will NOT provide coverage for these scans. At the same time, new insurance codes for cone-beam CT scans have recently been developed within the dental insurance industry. The dental industry is slowly adapting to provide coverage for cone-beam scans.

Problematic, however, most dental insurances only provide $1,000 to $2,000 of coverage/benefits for an individual for a given year (this includes all dental care). These costs, considering overall costs of dental care for a given year, can be quickly consumed. Costs beyond the stated level of benefits become the responsibility of the patient.