Describe at least three diagnostic tools in dentistry.
Diagnostic Tools in Dentistry
The introduction of technological advancements in dentistry has helped treat teeth-related ailments and diagnosis of dental diseases using different tools. Dentists have effectively used x-rays, cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) scanners, and digital radiography as diagnostic tools in dentistry.
CBCT scanning is one of the most effective diagnostic tools in dentistry. CBCT scanning applies cone-shaped beams that help replicate accurate 3-D images of the dental formula or tooth under treatment. CBCT scanning effectively provides dentists with information regarding different procedures to perform on different occasions for different patients (Burke & Weill, 2019). These procedures include helping dentists plan for patient dental implants, dental extractions, measuring root canals to avoid nerve damage, and finding periodontal defects in patients that other diagnostic tools cannot like x-rays and digital radiography (Burke & Weill, 2019). CBCT scanning is better than X-ray or digital radiography as it is cost-efficient, provides better detailing and data for procedures, and exposes a patient to less radiation than the latter two diagnostic tools.
As the oldest technological diagnostic tool, x-rays are effectively used in dentistry diagnosis. X-rays work on the principle of a patient being exposed to x-rays that help with identifying cavities in teeth. The more the mineral of a tooth decreases, the bigger the cavity shown on an x-ray scan through a darker hole compared to other cavities in the patient’s teeth (Burke & Weill, 2013/2019). The limitation to this technique as a diagnostic tool is that it is impossible to detect small cavities at the start of a tooth’s decay.
Lastly, digital radiography is another dentist’s diagnostic tool. Digital radiography works on the principle that digital x-rays are exposed to the patient and still produce the same x-ray film but computerized over the original x-ray diagnostic tool (Burke & Weill, 2013/2019). The advantage of digital radiography over normal x-ray scanning is that the process is less time-consuming, with the film now digitalized for printing and sharing with patients over messaging services.
The innovations in technology introduced to the healthcare system have hastened ways of diagnosing patients. In dentistry, cone-beam computed tomography has revolutionized diagnosis of dental diseases compared to digital radiation and x-ray methods as diagnostic tools. Through more detailed imaging, different procedures have been achieved in ensuring that patients are not exposed to more radiation, with less time-consuming diagnostic tools and fewer costs. Digital imaging has revolutionized dentistry and the diagnosis of teeth defects.
Burke, L., & Weill, B. (2019). Information Technology in Dentistry. In Information Technology for the Health Professions (5th ed., pp. 199–216). Pearson.
(Original work published 2013)