Diagnostics Radiography

CBCT can Detect root fractures

Cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) is useful in detecting vertical root fractures (VRF) in vivo even when the fracture line itself could not be visualized on CBCT, according to Russian researchers

Source: Endodontics — April 12, 2019

What makes all of the amazing things possible we see with CBCT is that second “C” it stands for “Computed”. The fact that we have a digital image and it is analyzed by a computer allows us to see, or more accurately distinguish things that we could never actually see with our naked, unaided human eyes.

For example a single radiograph pixel could be one of at least 256 shades of gray. Our unaided eye cannot distinguish any difference between say shade 124 and shade 125. However the computer can “see” a difference. The computer can then be taught (programmed) to to find pixel patterns that indicate a pathologic change (such as a root fracture).

We often get hug up on what we can see on a displayed radiographic image and compare that to film. However the actual value of a digital image is not how it compares to film but that it is not film. A digital image contains far more diagnostic data than film, we just need to use the computer to help us see what is there.