Digital Volume Tomography (DVT)
It is not possible to see all the details of an oral cavity using conventional X-ray technology. DVD allows the dentist to observe the spatial distribution of roots, the root-canal system as well as the details of the surrounding maxilla-facial structure.
Tumors and inflammatory changes in the jawbone are often not recognised due to the high density of compact bones and they can be masked by anatomical structures like the cheek bone. (See Lofthag-Hansen, S., S. Huumonen, et al. (2007). “Limited cone-beam CT and intraoral radiography for the diagnosis of periapical pathology.” Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod 103(1): 114-9.)
DVT permits the high resolution representation of teeth and jaw structures in thin slices in all three dimensions, increasing diagnostic reliability. The voxels (3D pixels) are extremely small (about 80 µm) as is the scanned volume (4×4 cm).
DVT is appropriate in the following circumstances:
- Suspicion of inflammation in the upper or lower jawbone arising from the root-canal system.
- Preliminary to an endodontic diagnosis (e.g., to confirm unidentified canal systems, complex root anatomy, perforations or root fractures).
- When planning microsurgery on roots in the immediate vicinity of anatomical structures like the maxillary sinus, the mental nerve, or the mandibular nerve.
- Diagnosis after dental trauma to determine the extent and nature of the damage.
- Internal and external root canal reabsorption.