How to Choose the Best CBCT For Your Dental Practice

Comprehensive guide on selecting the best CBCT machine for dental practices comparing features, understanding costs and maximising your imaging investment.

How to Choose the Best CBCT For Your Dental Practice

As a dental professional, you understand the importance of staying ahead of the curve when it comes to cutting-edge technology.

Enter cone beam computed tomography (CBCT).

A game-changer in dental imaging that has revolutionised the way dental professionals approach diagnosis and treatment planning.

This comprehensive guide is designed to assist you in selecting the best CBCT machine that aligns with your unique needs.

You can make an informed investment by striking the perfect balance between your current requirements and future growth aspirations.

An investment that not only meets your present demands, but also positions your practice for long-term success.

We'll explore the following key topics:

  • Understanding CBCT Technology
  • Assessing Your Practice's Needs
  • CBCT Machine Selection Guide
  • Financial Considerations
  • Upgrading and Scaling Your CBCT Capabilities
  • Making the Purchase Decision

By delving into these essential aspects, you will gain valuable insights into choosing the right CBCT machine.

Enabling you to optimise your imaging capabilities, and ultimately deliver superior patient care that sets you apart from the competition.

Understanding CBCT Technology

CBCT technology offers superior diagnostic capabilities compared to traditional X-rays.

These machines provide detailed 3D images of oral structures, aiding in accurate diagnosis and treatment planning with enhanced capabilities.

Advantages of In-House 3D Imaging with CBCT

Embracing in-house 3D imaging with CBCT can unlock a myriad of benefits for your practice.

For an in-depth exploration of these advantages, we invite you to read our dedicated article: The Benefits of In-House 3D Imaging Systems.

From enhancing the patient experience to boosting referral rates and elevating your practice's value, the advantages are hard to ignore.

By offering a wider range of treatment options and instilling confidence in your patients through precise diagnoses, CBCT technology can pave the way for increased revenue streams within your practice.

Moreover, the market offers a diverse array of CBCT machines, each presenting unique advantages.

Investing in CBCT scanners can lead to significant returns on investment, especially in cases like single or two implant procedures where a certain number of scans can generate substantial value ROI.

How to Choose the Best CBCT For Your Dental Practice

CBCT vs. OPG - A Comparative Analysis

CBCT and OPG (Orthopantomography) are both pivotal in dental diagnostics, yet they serve different purposes and come with distinct advantages and considerations.

Understanding these differences is crucial for dental professionals when selecting the right imaging technology for their practice.

Technological Advantages

  • CBCT: Utilises cone-shaped X-ray beams to produce three-dimensional images of the dental structures, soft tissues, nerve paths and bone in the craniofacial region. This technology is particularly beneficial for treatment planning in implantology, orthodontics, endodontics, and oral surgery.
  • OPG: Provides a panoramic or wide-view X-ray of the lower face, which displays all the teeth of the upper and lower jaw on a single film. It is primarily used for general dental assessments, diagnosis of dental caries, and identification of dental pathologies.

Application in Dental Practices

  • CBCT: Ideal for more complex cases where three-dimensional imaging can significantly impact treatment planning and outcome. It's extensively used in planning dental implants, evaluating jaw disorders, cleft palate assessments and complex endodontic cases.
  • OPG: Suited for routine dental examinations and quick assessments. It is often the first imaging choice for identifying common dental issues, orthodontic assessments and initial evaluations for wisdom tooth extraction.

Radiation Exposure

Advancements in CBCT technology have significantly reduced radiation doses, making them safer for patients while delivering detailed information necessary for effective dental procedures.

In comparison, OPG gives a 2D panoramic view with even lower radiation exposure, making it suitable for initial assessments and routine check-ups.

* The Planmeca ProMax 3D Classic captures CBCT images at doses comparable to or even lower than panoramic images, and the Vatech Green 16/18 CBCT also provides low-dose X-ray radiography.

Quality of Diagnostic Information

  • CBCT: Offers exceptional detail and clarity in three dimensions, allowing for precise treatment planning. It reveals anatomical structures that are not visible with 2D imaging techniques, providing a comprehensive understanding of the patient's dental anatomy.
  • OPG: Although providing less detail than CBCT, OPG images are sufficient for a wide range of diagnostic purposes, including the assessment of tooth alignment, detection of oral cancer and evaluation of the periodontal bone level.

Comparative Analysis of CBCT and OPG:

Feature CBCT OPG
Imaging Type 3D 2D
Primary Use Implant planning, orthodontics, endodontics, oral surgery General dental assessments, orthodontic planning
Radiation Exposure Reduced compared to traditional X-rays, but higher than OPG * Lower than CBCT
Image Detail High resolution, detailed 3D images Panoramic view, less detail compared to CBCT
Diagnostic Value Comprehensive diagnostic information for complex cases Suitable for routine exams and initial assessments

Choosing between CBCT and OPG depends on the specific needs of the dental practice, the type of procedures commonly performed, and the level of detail required for diagnosis and treatment planning.

If you're looking for expert guidance to choose the right machine that aligns with your dental practice's specific needs, our equipment specialists are here to help.

Contact us today to explore the best options tailored to your practice's requirements and ensure you make an informed investment.

Evaluating Your Current and Future Practice Needs

It's crucial to take a comprehensive approach to investing in CBCT technology by evaluating both your current operational demands and future growth aspirations.

This proactive mindset will ensure that the CBCT machine you choose not only caters to your present imaging requirements but also accommodates the potential expansion and evolution of your practice.

By carefully assessing your current patient volume, treatment offerings and diagnostic imaging needs, you can identify the specific functionalities and capabilities required.

Simultaneously, considering your long-term goals, potential new service lines, and evolving industry trends will help you make a future-proof investment that positions your practice for continued success, enabling you to buy for growth.

CBCT Room Requirements and Installation Considerations

Alongside evaluating your practice's imaging needs, a key consideration is the physical space and technical requirements for housing a CBCT machine.

Some compact models are designed to be wall-mounted, optimising space utilisation. For example, the Acteon X-MIND Prime 2 in our DH Keen surgery case study.

Factors such as radiation safety protocols, electrical and plumbing specifications, and potential room renovations or conversions must be carefully assessed.

We were asked to convert a stock room into a CBCT room, with very short notice by Crowborough Gentle Dental.

How to Choose the Best CBCT For Your Dental Practice

CBCT Guidance and Safety

Ensuring adherence to radiation protection legislation and best practices for patient safety is paramount.

Guidance documents like those provided by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) offer invaluable resources to ensure the safe use of dental CBCT equipment within your practice, providing guidelines on radiation safety measures.

By thoughtfully considering these spatial and technical factors, you can optimise your practice's layout, maximise efficient use of available space and create a seamless integration of CBCT technology into your existing workflow.

How to Choose the Right CBCT Machine for Your Practice

Identifying the ideal CBCT machine for your dental practice is a critical decision that requires careful consideration of your dental speciality's unique requirements.

By understanding factors such as field of view (FOV) sizes, image quality, radiation exposure, voxel size and endo mode capabilities, you can make an informed choice that aligns with your clinical needs and patient care objectives.

A Buyer's Guide to CBCT Machine Selection

It's important to note that CBCT scans with large FOV were 22.39 times more likely to show an incidental finding than scans with small FOV, underscoring the significance of selecting the appropriate FOV size for your dental speciality and treatment plans.

CBCT for Implantologists

For implantologists, CBCT technology plays a pivotal role in dental implant planning and execution.

The 3D imaging capabilities of CBCT machines provide a comprehensive view of the patient's bone structure, allowing for precise assessment of bone density and height, as well as the identification of vital anatomical structures.

This invaluable information enables meticulous implant placement, reducing the risk of complications and ensuring optimal outcomes.

Take a look at these machines:

Vatech Smart Plus
Planmeca ProMax 3D Classic

How to Choose the Best CBCT For Your Dental Practice

CBCT for Endodontics

In the realm of endodontics, CBCT machines equipped with endo mode and high-resolution scanning capabilities can greatly improve root canal treatments.

These advanced features allow for detailed visualisation of root canal anatomy, enabling accurate identification of intricate anatomical complexities and potential complications.

By leveraging this level of precision, endodontists can enhance the success rate of root canal treatments and deliver superior patient care.

Machines with endo mode:

Vatech Green X
Vatech Smart X
Planmeca ProMax 3D Classic

How to Choose the Best CBCT For Your Dental Practice

CBCT for Periodontal

In the field of periodontics, CBCT imaging provides invaluable insights into the intricate details of the jawbone and surrounding structures.

When considering a CBCT machine for periodontal applications, it's essential to prioritise high-resolution imaging capabilities and a suitable field of view (FOV) that captures the entire jaw area.

This level of detail allows periodontists to accurately assess bone levels, detect bony defects, and identify potential complications, such as furcation involvements or vertical bone defects.

Additionally, CBCT machines with advanced software features that enable precise measurement and quantification of bone levels can be invaluable for periodontal disease evaluation and treatment planning.

Machines with large FOV:

Vatech Smart X
Vatech Green X

CBCT for Orthodontics

The benefits of CBCT in orthodontic assessment and treatment planning are numerous.

With its 3D imaging capabilities, CBCT technology provides a comprehensive view of the patient's dentition, jaw structure, and surrounding anatomical features.

This invaluable information aids in accurate diagnosis, precise appliance design, and effective treatment planning, ultimately improving orthodontic outcomes and enhancing patient satisfaction.

Multi-FOV selection:

Vatech Green 16/18
Vatech Smart X
Vatech Green X
Vatech Smart Plus

How to Choose the Best CBCT For Your Dental Practice

CBCT technology offers a wide range of applications across various dental specialities.

For instance, in oral and maxillofacial surgery, CBCT imaging can be invaluable for evaluating pathologies, assessing impacted teeth and planning surgical interventions.

Additionally, CBCT machines with cephalometric imaging capabilities can be incredibly useful for orthodontists, providing comprehensive 3D analysis of craniofacial structures and aiding in precise treatment planning.

Machines with cephalometric imaging:

Acteon X-MIND Prime 2
Vatech Green 16/18
Vatech Smart X
Vatech Green X
Vatech Smart Plus RC (with Ceph)

How to Choose the Best CBCT For Your Dental Practice

With the wide array of CBCT machines available in the market, it's essential to navigate the options carefully when choosing the right CBCT unit.

Seeking expert advice on selecting the perfect imaging machine for your dental practice?

Our team of equipment specialists is ready to assist you. Contact us on 01322 292222, email us at or fill out our Equipment Enquiry form.

Financial Considerations

When it comes to investing in a CBCT machine, you will need to break down the cost aspects to make an informed decision.

The purchase price is a significant factor, but it's important to consider the overall investment, including operational costs and potential financing options.

While the upfront CBCT machine cost may seem substantial, it's crucial to weigh this against the long-term benefits and potential return on investment.

For financing options see our article on How to Secure Financing for Your Dental Practice.

Additionally, it's wise to consider the ongoing operational costs associated with running a CBCT machine, such as maintenance, software updates, and staff training.

By factoring in these expenses, you can create a comprehensive financial plan and ensure that your investment in CBCT technology is sustainable and profitable for your practice.

Maximising Your CBCT Investment

Investing in CBCT technology is a strategic decision that can yield significant returns for your practice.

By leveraging the advanced imaging capabilities of CBCT machines, you can elevate your treatment planning processes, offering patients comprehensive solutions tailored to their unique needs.

By clearly communicating treatment options and potential outcomes, you can foster trust and confidence in your practice, leading to increased referrals and a stronger reputation in your community.

Upgrading and Scaling Your CBCT Capabilities

As your practice grows and evolves, your imaging needs may also change.

It's important to recognise the signs that indicate your practice might need to upgrade its CBCT capabilities.

These indicators may include an increase in patient volume, expansion into new treatment areas, or the need for more advanced imaging features to support your clinical expertise.

By staying attuned to these signals, you can ensure that your practice remains at the forefront of technological advancements, providing your patients with the highest quality of care and positioning your practice for continued success.

Strategies for Upgrading

If you've identified the need to upgrade your CBCT capabilities, there are several strategies you can explore to scale your imaging services effectively.

One option is to trade in your existing CBCT machine for a more advanced model, taking advantage of any trade-in programs offered by manufacturers.

Collaboration with other dental practices or imaging centres can also be a viable strategy, allowing you to share resources and access advanced CBCT capabilities when needed, without the need for a significant upfront investment.

Making the Purchase Decision

When investing in a CBCT machine, it's crucial to consider the after-sales support provided by the manufacturer or supplier.

Reliable customer service, comprehensive training, and ongoing maintenance are key factors that can make or break the success of your CBCT implementation.

At Eclipse Dental, we understand the importance of after-sales support.

Our team of experts is dedicated to guiding you through the entire process, from selection and installation to staff training and ongoing technical assistance.

We ensure that your practice has the resources and knowledge necessary to seamlessly integrate CBCT technology into your workflow, maximising your investment and enabling you to deliver exceptional patient care.

How to Choose the Best CBCT For Your Dental Practice


Choosing the right CBCT machine is a critical decision that can significantly impact the success and growth of your dental practice.

By carefully evaluating your current and future needs, understanding the financial implications, and considering the potential for practice expansion, you can make an informed investment that aligns with your clinical aspirations and business objectives.

Remember, CBCT technology is not just a diagnostic tool; it's a gateway to enhanced patient care, improved treatment outcomes and a competitive edge in the dental industry.

Embrace the possibilities that CBCT has to offer, and partner with a trusted supplier like Eclipse Dental to ensure seamless integration and a maximised return on your investment.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Which is the best CBCT machine?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the "best" CBCT machine will depend on your specific dental practice's needs, specialities, and budget.

Factors such as field of view (FOV) size, image quality, radiation exposure, and software capabilities should be carefully evaluated.

It's essential to consider both your current requirements and future growth plans when selecting a CBCT machine.

Why is CBCT better than OPG?

CBCT (Cone Beam Computed Tomography) technology offers several advantages over traditional panoramic radiography (OPG).

CBCT provides superior diagnostic capabilities by offering detailed 3D images of oral structures, enabling accurate diagnosis and precise treatment planning.

Unlike 2D OPG images, CBCT scans provide a comprehensive view of the patient's dentition, jawbone, and surrounding anatomical structures, allowing for better assessment of bone levels, detection of bony defects, and identification of potential complications.

Additionally, CBCT scans typically involve lower radiation exposure compared to traditional X-rays, ensuring patient safety while delivering the necessary diagnostic information.

How much does a CBCT machine cost?

The cost of a CBCT machine can vary significantly depending on factors such as the manufacturer, model, features, and capabilities.

Entry-level CBCT machines can range from £50,000 to £100,000, while more advanced models with larger fields of view and higher resolutions can cost upwards of £200,000.

It's important to consider not only the upfront purchase price but also the ongoing operational costs, such as maintenance, software updates, and staff training.

How do I integrate CBCT technology into my dental practice?

Integrating CBCT technology into your dental practice requires careful planning and execution.

It's essential to evaluate your practice's specific needs and select a CBCT machine that aligns with your specialities and treatment offerings.

Additionally, you'll need to consider factors such as room requirements, radiation safety protocols, and staff training.

Partnering with a reputable supplier like Eclipse Dental can be beneficial, as we offer comprehensive support services, including installation, staff training, and ongoing technical assistance.

Effective marketing strategies should also be implemented to communicate the benefits of your new CBCT capabilities to existing and potential patients.

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