Advanced imaging methods

S. R. Matteson, S. T. Deahl, M. E. Alder, P. V. Nummikoski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Recent developments in imaging sciences have enabled dental researchers to visualize structural and biophysical changes effectively. New approaches for intra-oral radiography allow investigators to conduct densitometric assessments of dento-alveolar structures. Longitudinal changes in alveolar bone can be studied by computer-assisted image analysis programs. These techniques have been applied to dimensional analysis of the alveolar crest, detection of gain or loss of alveolar bone density, peri-implant bone healing, and caries detection. Dental applications of computed tomography (CT) include the detailed radiologic anatomy of alveolar processes, orofacial soft tissues and air spaces and developmental detects. Image analysis software permits bone mass mineralization to be quantified by means of CT data. CT has also been used to study salivary gland disease, injuries of the facial skeleton, and dental implant treatment planning. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been used extensively in retrospective and prospective studies of internal derangements of the temporomandibular joint. Assessments based on MRI imaging of the salivary glands, paranasal sinuses and cerebrovascular disease have also been reported. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) has been applied to the study of skeletal muscle, tumors and to monitor the healing of grafts. Nuclear imaging provides a sensitive technique for early detection of physiological changes in soft tissue and bone. It has been used in studies of periodontitis, osteomyelitis, oral and maxillofacial tumors, stress fractures bone healing, temporo-mandibular joint, and blood flow. This article includes brief descriptions of the technical principles of each imaging modality reviews their previous uses in oral biology research, and discusses potential future applications in research protocols.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)346-395
Number of pages50
JournalCritical Reviews in Oral Biology and Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Computerized image analysis
  • computerized tomography
  • imaging
  • intra-oral radiography
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • nuclear medicine
  • subtraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Dentistry(all)


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