A must in orthodontic diagnosis and treatment planning?
With the introduction of three-dimensional imaging in the field of dentistry, cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) has generated great interest in various applications in orthodontics. As orthodontic treatment revolves around correcting a malocclusion in three dimensions, the earlier use of two-dimensional radiographs limited our view of anatomical structures greatly. In orthodontics, CBCT can be very useful in the assessment of limits of tooth movement according to the envelope of discrepancy, study of craniofacial morphology, study of dental development, assessment of the airway, assessment of treatment outcome, and patient education. In addition, many relationships of the craniofacial complex, such as the position of the mandibular condyles in the temporomandibular fossa with respect to the occlusal scheme and the association of airway abnormalities to craniofacial morphology, cannot be evaluated with conventional imaging approaches. In this article, we shed light on the current practices and use of CBCT in orthodontics, its advantages to the orthodontist and the patient, and whether CBCT can replace traditional orthodontic imaging techniques.