Technology is progressing at an unimaginable speed. What used to be writings of sci-fi writers has become our reality and an essential part of our lives. There is no sector or field in the world that has remained untouched by technology. The same goes for the dental field. Over the last few decades, significant progress has been made in dental procedures, equipment, and methodologies. As a result, they are more efficient, painless and faster.
University of Michigan School of Dentistry researchers have recently released new software to improve the effectiveness of 3-dimensional images used to treat dental conditions. The software allows dentists and researchers to stack a series of scans obtained over a period of time to, according to Lucia Cevidanes, assistant professor in the Department of Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry and the project’s principal investigator “… more accurately track both a disease and the effectiveness of its treatment.”
The software is called SlicerCMF, which refers to its cranio-maxillofacial applications to analyze scans, or slices, of the mouth, jaws, face and head. It works with several imaging tools, including MRI, CT, ultrasound and nuclear medicine.
What This Research Means to You
This software enables dentists and researchers to both find and measure changes in the jaw and soft tissues of the mouth to track the progress of dental disease/treatment, jaw growth, tissue healing rate and other parameters to assure the most accurate information available. The ability to identify specific bio markers in the scans can help our Manhattan dentists to understand changes over time as well as whether these changes are positive or negative. This then leads to better and more effective treatments.
What the future holds for the dental field is something that only time can tell but it would not be an exaggeration to say that the dental procedures will become more sophisticated for the coming generations.
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“I think what we have done is exciting,” Cevidanes said. “Our collaborative group is recognized nationally and internationally as being leaders in the field of registration, noting changes over time and quantifying them. At the same time, (the software allows) visualization of those changes with some very nice color maps or color-coded visualizations.”