CBCT Scan For All-On-4 Implants

Female patient receiving an CBCT scan prior to dental procedure.- Pinole, CA

You walk into your dentist’s office, and around the corner, you see a huge white machine! Not to fear, this is most likely the CBCT scan machine. It’s a machine used to take x-rays to see below the surface. It’s most useful in the implant process to create a precise 3D image that aids in the successful placement of your implant.

Here at Novato Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, located in Novato, CA, you can feel confident in the hands of our experienced implant specialist. Along with the CBCT, we offer multiple services, including traditional implants, all-on-4 dental implants, and can answer any questions regarding all-on-4 dental implant cleaning. 

What Is A CBCT Scan?

This is an acronym for cone-beam computed tomography. The name comes from the cone-shaped x-ray. While the x-ray rotates, it produces high-image-quality pictures of your mouth and jaw that combine to make a precise 3D image. 

Because the radiation is localized to your facial area, scatter radiation is reduced. This creates a quality 3D scan image, unlike the conventional CT scan. In addition, because the machine is smaller, your scan can be conveniently done in the dental office. 

Do I Need A CBCT Scan? 

If you are considering any dental implant procedure, the answer is yes! CBCT scans are a type of imaging technology that is generally a requirement before any dental implant placement. This allows the doctor to evaluate any obstacles and create an accurate plan for your implant.  

Before all-on-4 dental implants, the dentist needs to see bone height, structure, density, and critical nerve paths. The cone-beam CT will show just that. With this vital information, your dentist can minimize possible complications before your dental procedure. It also ensures the osseointegration process will be successful. 

What Will The CBCT Scan Show?

A CBCT scan will show the fine details of your face and mouth before your dental implant procedure. Below you can see the things your dentist will evaluate and search for on your 3D CBCT.

  • Soft tissues
  • Nerve pathways
  • Tooth decay
  • Nasal cavity
  • Jawbone and mass

What Other Reasons Will I Need a CBCT?

Cone-beam computed tomography is often used before implants, but they are used for other things as well. Anytime your dentist wants to see fine details, he may request you have a cone-beam CT scan. Below are some other procedures you may need a cone-beam CT for:

  • Wisdom tooth extractions
  • Mouth structure
  • Locating chronic pain
  • Detecting oral tumors 
  • Evaluation and diagnosis of TMJ Disorder

CBCT Scan: The Process


Preparing is easy and quick. You will be asked to remove detachable metal objects like earrings, nose rings, or tongue rings. Also, you may be asked to take out any removable dental objects, like dentures. In addition, a lead vest is put over you to protect you from the radiation. 


The CBCT scan is painless, and you should not feel uncomfortable. You walk into the machine and stand still for up to 2 minutes. You may be asked to hold bars or bite a covered stick to position your jaw for imaging. The machine will then rotate around your head a number of times. 


The cone-beam CT scan image is available in minutes. Your dentist can analyze the 3D and 2D CBCT imaging. In some cases, you may be asked to come back for another visit. During this time, your dentist will do treatment planning, arrange for placement of dental implants and evaluate for any challenges. 

Who Should NOT Get A CBCT Scan?

It is not best for everyone to receive this type of x-ray. It can depend on your age and healthcare history. Always discuss your health history with your doctor and his assistants prior to any procedure. This will ensure you are fit to receive the scan and the future dental implant. Below are some contraindications to the CBCT scan:

  • Pregnancy 
  • Radiosensitivity (e.g. Gorlin Goltz Syndrome)
  • Steel plate or strong metals located near your mouth 

Your Visit To Novato Oral Surgery

We hope this information helps you feel confident about your upcoming CBCT scan. This convenient x-ray will ensure your procedure is done with the utmost accuracy. Our providers are both professionals with years of experience in CBCT scans and dental implant procedures. In addition, we will make sure to share with you the best ways to care for your all-on-4 implants for a long-lasting smile. Feel free to ask any questions. Give us a call today or make any inquiries online.


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