There are plenty of reasons why your office may not have a CBCT, whether it is because you don’t have the space or don’t want to have the responsibility that comes with taking them. Even though it can be nice to have a CBCT, we always recommend that you outsource their reading to more experienced sources for pathology.

But there are also ways in which you can localize pathology without doing a CBCT by just using regular old X-rays. In this article, we’ll discuss the “old school” way to localize pathology without using a CBCT.

“Old School” Ways to Localize Pathology without a CBCT

To localize pathology without a CBCT, you need to use a certain type of dental X-ray. You need to do an occlusal X-ray, which captures the roof or floor of the mouth. This is the way that pathology was done before the creation of CBCT, and these views will show you the tooth placement and development of both the roof and floor of the mouth.

To perform these, you will take the X-ray at a 60-degree angle over the nose for the maxillary occlusal X-ray. The X-ray will view through the nose and into the top of the mouth. Then, for the mandibular, you take the X-ray vertically into the chin. The mandibular X-ray is not taken at a 60-degree angle but rather parallel with the angle of the face. You can also perform some PAs with a shift to get a complete picture of the mouth for pathology.

Some people have issues with their digital X-ray machines because they don’t sense the occlusal size, but doctors have also told us they are able to use a size 2 and successfully complete these X-rays with a digital X-ray machine.

If these X-rays don’t give you the information that you need, you should consider referring the patient out for a CBCT and get the CBCT professionally read to avoid any liability.