How Much Does a Cone Beam CT Cost?
A cone beam CT, or CBCT, is a more sophisticated form of a CT (computed tomography) scan. A CT scan is useful for physicians to diagnose many different things including cancer in all areas of the body. While an x-ray only shows bones, a CT also shows muscles and soft-tissue and is therefore more thorough. CT scans use rotating x-ray equipment along with computer technology. However, like an x-ray, this is done by using radiation. A cone beam CT is a compact, faster and safer version. With this method, the time needed for actual scanning is dramatically reduced which lessens the amount and danger of radiation. by using a cone shaped x-ray, the CBCT does not only reduce the radiation dosage but also makes the size of the scanner itself smaller as well. This means that instead of having to have a whole room for the machine, a CBCT machine can be used in locations such as a dentist’s office. It can also be used to scan much smaller parts of the body rather than larger areas such as the head or abdomen.
How much does it cost?
- The cost for a CBCT scan varies according to a few different factors (see below for a list), but the average cone beam CT will cost between $250 and $600.
- According to Charlotteoralsurgery.com, the cone beam scan costs approximately $395. This is a lot more expensive than other procedures such as panoramic view. However, it provides a vastly larger amount of clinical data which can be very beneficial for both the patient and the dentist.
- For the actual Dental Cone Beam CT machine itself, the price ranges from $60,000 to over a hundred thousand dollars. BuyDentalEquipment.com lists some of the available machines that you can buy directly from the site. For the machine alone, the average price of $140,000 was given by Webdental.com.
- If your dental or health insurance covers the cost of a regular CT r x-ray, it may also cover the cost of a CBCT. If so, you will only be responsible for the deductible or co-pay.
What is going to be included?
- The process of the scan is relatively easy. Unlike the traditional CT scanner, the time needed for a full scan is typically under one minute (10-40 seconds only). Although it is brief, the images taken from a cone beam CT scan are generally high-resolution and are rarely distorted.
- Regardless of the purpose of the scan is (whether Oral surgery, Orthodontic planning and implant anchorage, Periodontal diseases and other known serious medical conditions), the payment will be inclusive for the scan only. In the event that additional procedures will be needed such as MRI, there will be a separate fee for it.
- You can find Cone Beam CT’s throughout the US at various imaging centers or in many dental offices.
What are the extra costs?
- Pre-consultation. Basically, a scan is a further option after an initial diagnosis. Seeing a doctor or a dentist before, during and after the scan surely costs money. There will also be additional costs for the actual medication or procedures needed, if any.
- Additional procedures. If a dentist spots any problems due to a CT scan, more work may have to be performed.
- Office fees. Aside from the CT scan charges, office fees can be charged, which can vary anywhere from $50 to $100 per visit.
Factors that influence the price:
- Location. As stressed by Conebeam.com, the cost for the Cone Beam CT falls in the range of $250 to $600. However, the exact price varies from one location to another. This could mean from one state to another, one city to another, or even one office to another.
- The specific scan to be done. As mentioned, the scan is not only inclusive to dental issues, it covers a wide range of things. The cost for the scan is also determined by the specific scan you need for your condition.
Tips to know:
- Since the time of the of the scan is dramatically reduced, the radiation dosage is up to a hundred times less than that of a regular CT scan or x-ray.
- An article on Webdental.com assesses the “overuse” of Cone Beam CT scans in dentistry. The article cited that this may be a result of the need to compensate the costs of the Cone Beam CT scan machine. After all, the CBCT scanners are not very cheap.
- Unlike regular X-rays, CT scans can discriminate between many types of tissue including bone, teeth, nerves and soft tissue.
Questions to ask:
- Why go for a CBCT scanner over a regular medical CT scanner?
- Will the scan be covered by my insurance?
How can I save money?
- Have your medical insurance company cover the costs of the scan. That way, you will be able to save a great deal of money. If you do not have a health insurance policy, consider checking health insurance comparison websites such as eHealthInsurance.com.
- Ask your dentist or doctor to make sure the CBCT is actually necessary. Maybe try regular x-rays first to see if that gets the job done.