A data merge is diagnostic information that is obtained from a dental CBCT (cone beam computed tomography) scan. It’s merged with visual surface data from an intra-oral or desktop optical scanner. A CBCT is similar to the technology used for a traditional CT scan. The equipment rotates around the patient’s head, capturing data using a cone-shaped x-ray. The data is merged visual surface data to create a 3D (three-dimensional) image of the patient’s entire jaw, mount, surrounding bone structure, teeth, and the ear, nose, and throat. CBCT technology is used to diagnose cavities, assess cleft palates, visualize endodontic issues, and diagnose dental trauma, in addition to being used extensively in the dental implant industry to plan and execute accurate and successful implants. Using CBCT technology with intra-oral or desktop optical scanners is fast, easy, and non-invasive for the patient. However, the FDA recommends that dentists and periodontists only use CBCT scans when absolutely medically necessary for a diagnosis or treatment. Medically appropriate CBCT scans are of low risk to patients compared to the benefits.