Background: The cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) technology has continuously evolved since its appearance in oral medicine in the early 2000s.
Objective: to present recent advances in CBCT in oral medicine: i) selection of recent and consensual evidence-based sources, ii) structured summary of the information based on an iterative framework and iii) compliance with ethical, public health and patient-centered concerns.
Main findings: We will focus on technological advances, such as sensors and reconstruction algorithms used to improve the constant quality of the image and dosimetry. CBCT examination is now performed in almost all disciplines of oral medicine: currently, the main clinical disciplines that use CBCT acquisitions are endodontics and oral surgery, with clearly defined indications. Periodontology and ear, nose and throat medicine are more recent fields of application. For a given application and indication, the smallest possible field of view must be used. One of the major challenges in contemporary healthcare is ensuring that technological developments do not take precedence over admitted standards of care. The entire volume should be reviewed in full, with a systematic approach. All findings are noted in the patient’s record and explained to the patient, including incidental findings. This presupposes the person reviewing the images is sufficiently trained to interpret such images, inform the patient and organize the clinical pathway, with referrals to other medical or oral medicine specialties as needed.
Conclusion: A close collaboration between dentists, medical physicists, radiologists, radiographers and engineers is critical for all aspects of CBCT technology.