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What is the Difference Between a CT Scan and an X-Ray?

In the medical field, there are many types of scans that can be done to help diagnose various health issues. Two of the most widely used scans are X-rays and CT scans. What you may not realize is there’s a difference between these two types of scans.

At Couture Smiles Dental Group we use the latest in new technology and rely on X-rays and CT scans to give ourselves a better look at what’s happening inside your mouth.

What is a CT scan?

The full name for a CT scan is computed tomography scan, and is also referred to as a CAT scan. CT scans allow our staff to get a picture of what’s going on inside your body. The machine uses a combination of several X-rays and a computer to generate an image. CT scans are quick, usually only taking between 15-30 minutes to complete, and are entirely painless.

What is an X-ray?

Just like a CT scan, X-ray machines take a picture of the inside of your body. The term “X-ray” stands for electromagnetic waves, which are a form of radiation. Like CT scans, X-rays are quick and usually take no longer than 15 minutes. They’re also painless.

What is the difference between a CT scan and an X-ray?

The difference between these two types of scans is actually quite minor. However, the way in which the scans are used has a significant difference.

X-rays are used to detect issues with your bones like fractures and dislocations. They’re also used to find different types of diseases, such as cancer and pneumonia. CT scans take the power of a regular X-ray a step further. 

CT scans use X-ray technology to compose an internal image of your body. They use multiple, highly-advanced X-ray machines to get a 360 degree view of your body to create 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional images. 

Where X-rays are primarily used on bones, CT Scans are used to get a view of your internal organs and blood vessels. CT scans are more versatile and allow us to view and diagnose issues from all different angles.

So while these tests are similar, they do vary in their capabilities and are used in different situations.

If your mouth is suffering from an injury or illness, and you’re not sure what’s causing it, call us today or send us a message on our website. We can assure you that a CT scan or X-ray will find the cause of your pain! 

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