Cone Beam 3D Dental Imaging or iCAT

While your dentist has adequate x-ray equipment to check your teeth for common dental problems, you might be referred to The Women's Imaging Centre for more advanced imaging.

Cone Beam 3D Dental Imaging or I-CAT


i-CAT is specialised x-ray equipment used when regular dental or facial bone x-rays are inadequate. i-CAT provides high resolution 3D images of teeth, soft tissue and bone in a single scan, enabling more precise treatment planning for dental implants and orthodontic treatment, and in neuromuscular and functional dentistry.

i-CAT uses an x-ray beam, in the shape of a cone, which radiates from a gantry that rotates around the head in a complete 360-degree rotation, while capturing multiple images from varying angles. Sophisticated computers use the image data to create a 3-D reconstruction of the face and jaw, which can be assessed using i-CAT vision software.

What to expect

Generally the patient sits for the scan, which takes less than a minute. You will be asked to remain very still during the scan to avoid image blurring. The examination is pain-free and you can return to normal activities straight away.

If you are pregnant or suspect that you might be pregnant, please advise the radiographer before your test, so that proper precautions can be taken.

All The Women's Imaging Centre radiographers have the necessary qualifications and experience to ensure the best patient care and high-quality x-rays, and are accredited and licensed by Queensland Health and the Australian Institute of Radiographers.

After your dental x-ray

One of our radiologists will interpret your i-CAT and provide your doctor or dentist with a comprehensive report about the findings. You will need to return to the dental practitioner who referred you to discuss your results. Processing and reporting of your images could take up to two hours. For your convenience we can generally deliver the images and report to your dentist, by lunchtime on the next working day.

If you require the results for a follow up appointment on the day of the scan, you can wait for the films and we will fax or email the results to your dentist. Some of our referring dentists prefer that their patients wait for their films after the scan. You may arrange to collect the films at an alternative time, if you prefer that option.