Micro-CT Applications for Modern and Fossil Dental Analysis

Use of Micro-Computed Tomography for Dental Studies in Modern and Fossil Odontocetes: Potential Applications and Limitations

Teeth are useful in studies of both fossil and living animals but, prior to the use of micro-CT, methods of studying teeth involved destructive sectioning techniques. With the nondestructive and non-invasive use of micro-CT, dental researchers and paleoanthropologists are able to visualize and quantify the enamel, internal layers of dentin, and the pulp cavity. Because of their tough and resistant composition, teeth form a key part of mammal remains in paleontological and archaeological sites and are used in the study of biology, functional morphology, systematics, and the evolution of fossils as well as recent species. The article concludes that, “micro-CT has been proven to be a useful tool for resolving the internal morphology of fossil and extant teeth…”

READ MORE on using micro-CT to study microstructure of teeth, from RESEARCH GATE.

Computer vision in dentistry: Using CAD and CBCT systems to detect tooth pathology

Micro-CT scanning is being used in root canal treatment, providing a more detailed visualization of affected roots with precise measurement of root canal length and shape. Because some teeth have multiple canals and/or very curved canals, traditional X-rays are not sufficient and dentists require a second-reader support. By applying algorithms to high resolution micro-CT slices, the micro-CT software creates a 3D reconstruction of the root canal with all its twists and permutations. “The researchers reported a success rate of 92% and concluded that the proposed technique is accurate enough to use in endodontic practice.”

READ MORE on using micro-CT for detection of tooth pathology, from DENTISTRY iQ.

A palaeobiologist’s guide to ‘virtual’ micro-CT preparation

Micro-CT is increasingly utilized to facilitate data sharing among scientists as well as for educational projects. This article explores virtually studying rare and unique specimens from museum collections, and provides a guide to creating, preparing, and dissecting a virtual fossil using micro-CT imaging and analysis. “Fragile, rare specimens and type materials in university and museum collections can therefore be virtually processed for a variety of purposes, including virtual loans, website illustrations, publications, and digital collections.”

READ MORE about using micro-CT to study a virtual fossil , from RESEARCH GATE.

Feasibility of micro-computed tomography to detect and classify proximal caries lesions in vitro

For this study, crowns were scanned using a Skyscan 1174 micro-CT instrument. Reconstruction of 900 basis images was performed using Bruker’s NRecon software, and experienced oral radiologists analyzed the reconstructed images using Bruker’s Dataviewer software. The study found that “…overall, more lesions were detected through micro-CT protocols compared to histology.” Detection of outer enamel cavities with micro-CT, however, was not as easy to do as in the other regions of the tooth. The study concludes that micro-CT laboratory findings support other clinical studies, especially in the areas of endodontics and caries diagnosis.

READ MORE about using micro-CT to study caries lesions, or cavities , from DENTAL RESEARCH JOURNAL.

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