Diagnostic Tools in Dentistry
Describe at Least Three Diagnostic Tools in Dentistry
An individual may think that when they go to the dentist for an oral checkup, the entire examination is focused on their teeth. To get a proper oral diagnosis, a dentist will be required to conduct tests on other regions of the patient’s body. Besides the mouth and the temporomandibular joints, other parts of the body, such as the skin, muscles, and glands, are examined (Radiographic Imaging in Dentistry). A primary diagnostic tool is a clinical examination using a probe (Burke & Weill, 2005, 211). However, this approach is not entirely accurate, and therefore, a dentist needs to rely on other tools for further diagnoses. This essay will describe the main diagnostic tools used in dentistry, including X-Rays, digital radiography, Cone Beam Computed Tomography scanner, and the use of electrical conductance.
X-rays are the first diagnostic tools. It’s been more than a century since X-rays were first used to detect cavities. Clinical assessment is less effective than using X-rays. As the tooth’s mineral content diminishes, X-rays can be utilized to detect cavities that appear darker on the X-ray (Burke & Weill, 2005, 211). The dentist must be able to analyze the X-ray appropriately. Using this procedure, cavities may be missed at an early stage when only minor treatment is required.
In addition to traditional X-rays, dentists can also adopt the use of digital X-rays. It takes less time and exposes patients to 60-90% radiation, making it a better option. Both their processing and cost-cutting abilities are crucial. Dentists no longer have to keep the film. A digital X-ray image doesn’t need to be developed, and it may be seen on the monitor by both the patient and the dentist. Digital images are easier for patients to see than tiny films. X-ray characteristics can also be increased to show the specific issue locations (Burke & Weill, 2005, 211). However, several studies have identified no significant differences between traditional and digital imaging.
Moreover, dentists can also use a cone-beam computed tomography scanner (CBCT). An accurate 3D image is produced using CBCT scanners. They make use of a cone-shaped beam for this purpose (Baan et al., 2021). The 3D image produced by data processing is distortion-free. Planned extractions, dental implant placement, orthodontic analysis, and periodontal disease detection are all possible uses for CBCT scanners in dentistry today (Burke & Weill, 2005, 211). Maxillofacial surgery, bone abnormalities in the temporomandibular joint, and sinuses can all be studied with CBCT imaging. CBCT scanners’ support points CBCTs are less expensive, produce better images, and can treat more patients in less time.
The last dental diagnostic tool is the use of electrical conductance. Currently, it is utilized to detect cavities. It is possible to test the resistance of a tooth by passing an electric current through it. There is a difference in resistance readings between a decayed and a healthy tooth. It’s unclear how accurate this technology is in finding large cavities, but studies suggest it’s an excellent tool for spotting later-stage lesions (Burke & Weill, 2005, 212).
In conclusion, new procedures have also been created to prevent the demineralization that happens with caries in addition to these tools (Burke & Weill, 2005, 212). This treatment, however, has not yet been proven to be successful. Additional methods include fiber-optic transillumination, Digital optic transillumination, intraoral fiber optic measurements, and quantitative light-induced fluorescence.
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