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A Forensic Approach to Hidden Infections

Follow Dr. Bonine on this forensic exercise into hidden infections with the help of his new Cone Beam digital imaging device. You can watch the Cone Beam video or read the story below.

"Could you image that your overall health is affected by what is going on in your mouth? Imagine that you have a tooth with a hidden infection that can’t be found. Maybe it’s affecting your sinuses. Maybe it's setting you up for heart disease, stroke, or diabetes.

These are all examples of what we look for when we try to find hidden infections in the oral cavity. But how do we find them?

Cone Beam Radiograph Gives Us New Insights

The dental CT scan gives us an overview image proving us with a three dimensional representation of the area that we are invested in studying. With the 3-D, we can rotate the image on screen to the area or the tooth that concerns us and look at it more critically. By moving the 3-D image back and forth and by changing the angle of the plane, we can very carefully review the anatomy at the tip of a tooth that we are concerned about.

In this particular case, we are able to notice that there is destruction of bone from an infection around a previously treated tooth that has extended up into the sinus. And the concern down below was that a tooth that had also been previously treated had subsequently cracked and we can see and evaluate the amount of bone structure here. Traditional dental x-rays would not have allowed us to visualize this and to be able to make this diagnosis. And we are getting a tremendous bang for the buck here to be able to pick up on a couple of different areas both with problems that we would otherwise not see. This technology is so illuminating on past mysteries.

Solving problems sooner getting better general health through oral health."