Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

is the new name of the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre

BPoD is 5

In 2017 we celebrate five years of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science

01 April 2012

Saving Teeth

An infected tooth may require root canal treatment [clearing out and decontaminating the interior]. The root canal bends, branches and tapers in a different way within each of our premolars, presenting a significant challenge to the dental surgeon. Pictured are 3-D micro-CT scans of five premolars (four lower jaw and one upper, each viewed from two angles) that reveal the thickness of the dentin wall remaining after excavation. Mapping a tooth’s internal curves and contours like this helps the dentist visualise which root canals have been successfully enlarged, without over-thinning the wall and compromising tooth survival. Thick layers of dentin are depicted in purple, while red highlights areas that may be too thin. Matching dental anatomy with the best excavation technique could greatly improve the success of root canal treatment.

Written by Roz Pidcock

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BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences (the new name for the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre) the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

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