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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 189-194

Nuclear medicine in dentistry revisited: New avenues to explore

Department of Periodontics, Yenepoya Dental College, Mangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Vinita Boloor
Department of Periodontics, Yenepoya Dental College, Mangalore - 575 018, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2278-0513.119253

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Nuclear medicine and radioactive tracers have considerable application in dental research, because they provide one of the few practical methods for studying the limited metabolic activities of bones and teeth. The ease with which minute amounts of these radioactive materials may be accurately measured and distinguished from the mass of inert element in the tooth is particularly valuable. They are useful in studying many problems of calcification and mineral exchange. There are also opportunities of their use in investigating fluorosis, caries protection, periodontal disease, micro leakage studies of dental materials, root resorption, nutritional, and endocrine effects, as well as numerous other dental problems. Other usages of nuclear medicine in dentistry are listed below: Age written in teeth by nuclear tests, scintigraphic evaluation of osteoblastic activity, and evaluation of osteoblastic activity around dental implants using bone scintigraphy. Nuclear medicine can be an indicator of "active" alveolar bone loss. Nuclear medicine techniques are used as an adjunct for the diagnosis of oral diseases (benign tumors and carcinomas) and temporomandibular joint disease. This review article discusses these indications of nuclear medicine.

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