Dental Cone Beam CT and Airway Analysis – What Is There to Know?


Has your doctor used terms such as dental cone beam CT and/or airway analysis? If you are here, reading this article, then he/she probably has and you probably have no idea what these terms mean. Having to experience a procedure that you are not familiar with is not a pleasant experience, and while your doctor probably will explain everything that you need to know about that certain procedure – therapeutic or diagnostic, it is always good to do some reading before you head to your doctor’s office. Today, we will explain the basics of dental cone beam CT and airway analysis so that you can get all the information that you need to ask your doctor about. 

What do you need to know about dental cone beam CT?

Think of the dental cone beam CT as a smaller and faster CT scanner specially designed to create perfect 3D cross-sectional images of your teeth and jaw. Although the dental cone beam CT scanner uses radiation, the special cone-shaped x-ray beam reduces[i] the amount of radiation to a minimum. This is the perfect alternative to the usual x-ray exam since it is a lot faster and uses lower amounts of radiation as well as it creates an opportunity[ii]for clearer, more precise pictures of your teeth and jaw to be created. Usually, this procedure is performed[iii] whenever there is a need for dental implants or when any special dental procedures need to be performed. A dental cone bean CT is the usual diagnostic[iv] procedure used to diagnose the existence of abnormal teeth, dental caries, root canal diagnosis, and diagnosis of dental trauma. The patient should not talk, swallow or move the jaw during the procedure which takes less than 30 minutes to perform, other than that – the dental cone beam CT is a quite safe procedure that you should not worry about. The dental cone beam CT is a non-invasive diagnostic procedure that is easily performed.  

What is there to know about airway analysis?

Airway analysis is the term that is being used to describe the clinical use of cephalometric – the process of analyzing the relationship between the dental and skeletal tissues of the patient. The main aim is to take precise pictures, using special equipment, in order to determine the anatomy of the nose – the bones, the soft tissues as well as any present abnormalities that might be endangering the patient’s health. Mostly, airway analysis is being used as a diagnostic[v]method to determine the treatment path and to show the patient exactly what has gone wrong and how the treatment process is improving his/her condition. Commonly, airway analysis is being used to diagnose the severity of the obstructive sleep apnea[vi] – a common sleep disorder which characterizes itself with discontinuing the airflow during sleep, causing fatigue, headache, and loud snoring to develop. It is a procedure that is regularly practiced by orthodontists and dentists all around the world. This is a safe, easy and non-invasive procedure that creates an opportunity to improve the patient’s health.  

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Preparations for airways analysis

Once again, airway analysis, despite the fact that it is a highly effective diagnostic procedure, it does not require any special preparation to be performed. That, of course, makes it easier for both the doctor and the patient together. Airway analysis is a safe, non-invasive procedure which means that you are not supposed to feel any pain and there is no need for an anesthetic to be used. Any worries that you might have about this procedure, make sure that you get them cleared out with your doctor before you agree to get it done.


In conclusion, dental cone beam CT and airway analysis are both safe, easy and non-invasive diagnostic procedures which create an opportunity for a more precise, clear look into the anatomy of the jaw, teeth, and nose of the patient, enabling the doctor to create an efficient treatment plan and to help the patient better understand what is the problem exactly. These two diagnostic procedures are easy to perform, do not require a lot of time and yet they reveal so much about the human anatomy. Thanks to these two procedures, we are able to set a more precise and with that a more effective treatment plan for our patients and let them heal right. 


[i] Kiljunen T, Kaaslainen T, Suomalainen A, Kortesniemi M, (2015), Dental cone beam CT: A review, Physica medica 31(8):844-860

[ii] Dawood A, Patel S, Brown J, (2009), Cone beam CT in dental practice, British Dental Journal 207(1):23-8
[iii] Prashat P Jaju, Sushama P Jaju, (2014), Clinical utility of dental cone-beam computered tomography: current perspective, Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigional Dentistry 6: 29–43

[iv] Kumar M, Shanavas M, Sidappa A, Kiran M, (2015), Cone beam computered tomography – know its secrets, Journal of International Oral Health 7(2): 64–68

[v] Martins SL, Liedke SG, Silveira Heraldo LD, Silveira PF, Aurs NA, Ongkosuwito EM, Vizzotto MB, (2017), Airway volume analysis: is there a correlation between two and three dimensions?, European Journal of Orthodontics cjx067

[vi] Strelzow VV, Blanks RH, Basile A, Strelzow AE, (1998), Cephalometric airway analysis in obstructive sleep apnea, The Laryngoscope 98(11):1149-58


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