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J Endod. 1992 May;18(5):237-44.

Magnetic resonance imaging of human teeth.

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  • 1Department of Dentistry, Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, NC.


There is a need in clinical dentistry for improved diagnostic methods for an accurate evaluation of pulp tissue pathosis. The purpose of this investigation was to attempt to image extracted human teeth with the aim of establishing the possible future application of magnetic resonance imaging in the diagnosis of pulpal pathosis. The results of this pilot study demonstrate that, in the in vitro setting, the outline of the tooth and pulp chamber can be imaged with a high degree of accuracy, and detailed images of the periodontal membrane and gross pulpal anatomy can be obtained. There were obvious differences in the signals given off by different locations within these teeth, and the images of the dental pulp tissue were detailed enough to suggest the possible correlation with histology. The high (9.4 T) field strengths used in this study demonstrate the in vitro application of this technology and the future possibilities for diagnosis of periodontal and odontogenic problems are significant.

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