Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Endodontics: A Review

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Introduction:This review analyzes the increasing role of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in dentistry and its relevance in endodontics. Limits and new strategies to develop MRI protocols for endodontic purposes are reported and discussed.Methods:Eligible studies were identified by searching the PubMed databases. Only original articles on dental structures, anatomy, and endodontics investigated by in vitro and in vivo MRI were included in this review. Original articles on MRI in dentistry not concerning anatomy and endodontics were excluded.Results:All the consulted studies showed well-defined images of pathological conditions such as caries and microcracks. The enhanced contrast of pulp provided a high-quality reproduction of the tooth shape and root canal in vitro and in vivo. Assessment of periapical lesions is possible even without the use of contrast medium.Conclusions:MRI is a nonionizing technique characterized by high tissue contrast and high image resolution of soft tissues; it could be considered a valid and safe diagnostic investigation in endodontics because of its potential to identify pulp tissues, define root canal shape, and locate periapical lesions.HighlightsA noninvasive technique to visualize hard and soft dental and periodontal tissues is described.The assessment of decay extensions, vitality, and periapical lesions without x-rays is discussed.The availability for research and clinically obtaining 3-dimensional models of the canal system is determined.The effectiveness in differentiating fluids from fibrous tissues in bone loss lesions is reviewed.

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