The aim of this study was to identify specific indications for dental cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) in the field of oral and maxillofacial surgery. To this end, we compared the efficacy of CBCT to that of panoramic radiography, the standard imaging modality, for the evaluation of different surgical questions in the oral and maxillofacial region. Dental CBCT proved to be particularly useful in cases where visualization of a second plane is necessary for implant planning or for pre-surgical evaluation of retained and displaced teeth posing a risk to adjacent structures. It is also indicated for precise localization of luxated teeth and dental implants dislocated into surrounding areas, localization of the mandibular canal to assess its anatomical relationship to overfilled root canal filling materials, assessment of the extent of osseous lesions, and evaluation of patients with suspected mandibular or condylar fractures. The main advantages of CBCT are reduction of the risks of surgery due to the free selection of imaging planes, mandibular canal marking, 1:1 magnification, and the ability to use DICOM data in other implant or surgical planning software. Adequate user experience is important for proper evaluation of dental CBCT scans, as is the diagnosis of incidental findings falling into areas not primarily related to dentistry and therefore requiring additional investigation.
Keywords: Dental cone-beam computed tomography, dental volume tomography, oral and maxillofacial surgery, cone beam CT, volume CT