2TheApex: When a conventional periapical radiograph is inadequate. (the uber simplified answer)
The AAE has published a revised position paper on the use of CBCT. You can find it HERE(click). This is the complete answer of when CBCT is indicated. It’s a quick and easy 7 pages.
CBCT Vs. Conventional Periapical radiograph. (recent case from Dr. Nordeen)
Pre-op periapical Image of Maxillary right
Obvious Findings: Radiolucent lesion tooth #4. Possible lesion tooth #2???
CBCT (mid-retreatment of tooth #4) of the same area using a custom curve. Note apex of tooth #7 caught in the field.
Video while scrolling through CBCT. (from cervical to apices and back) Video is slightly zoomed in, so the detail we view images is better than this normally.
Obvious findings with Cone Beam: Radiolucent lesions on teeth #2, #4 and #7. Almost complete furcal bone loss on tooth #2.
In our practice we use it routinely for surgery, retreatment, resorptive defects, inconclusive diagnosis and trauma. This technology has become as important in our practice as the microscope in providing the best care possible for our patients. We have gone from using it only several times a month to almost daily. This has been the next “game changer” in endodontics.