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Computed tomography: improves the success of treatments

tomografia computerizzata implantologia milano

The use of computed tomography has, in the last decade, improved the success of treatments in: implantology, oral surgery, periodontics, orthodontics and endodontics.

The advantages of computed tomography

Computed tomography is used in particular for implant treatment planning.

It is a technology that offers greater precision in measuring the patient’s anatomy with lower radiation than other diagnostic instruments, furthermore scan times are reduced to the benefit of the patient and the dentist.

In implantology, computed tomography helps the dentist in positioning the implant and in obtaining fundamental information on vital structures such as:

  • maxillary sinus;
  • orbit;
  • inferior alveolar nerve;
  • mental foramen;
  • sinus septa.

Innovative technologies for accurate diagnoses

According to the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, computed tomography scans, regardless of clinical application, should be used to diagnose multiple pathologies:

  • osteosclerosis;
  • periapical pathology;
  • cyst;
  • odontogenic and non-odontogenic malignancies;
  • thickening of the mucous membrane;
  • airway obstruction;
  • antral polyps;
  • nasal polyposis;
  • deviated septum:
  • tonsillar hypertrophy and tonsilloliths.

As it is easy to deduce from the list, the pathologies that can be diagnosed through computed tomography are not necessarily dental diseases.

In a study published in the October 2021 Journal of Prosthodontics, researchers analyzed the frequency of diagnosing non-dental pathologies identified in computed tomography scans performed for implant treatment planning and remote evaluation of the same.

1002 computed tomography scans performed between November 2007 and March 2020 were analyzed. A board-certified oral and maxillofacial radiologist systematically read all the scans and reported all the results obtained over time.

Not only dental pathologies

Pathologies identified by cone beam scans ranged from harmless sinusitis to more severe atherosclerotic calcification of the carotid arteries, narrowing of the airways and neoplastic lesions. There were 51 different findings, including 36 pathologies that required referral or follow-up.

Therefore, these are incidental diagnoses that have a fundamental clinical importance for the treatment of the patient.

In these cases, the dentist’s high proficiency in reading computed tomography scans is important to have a radiographic diagnosis of head and neck pathologies and to share these results with an appropriate specialist.

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