Oral medicine and radiology deal with the diagnosis of your diseases or disorders in the oral and facial region. This includes even certain systemic diseases which can be diagnosed through its manifestation in the oral cavity. Diagnosing and treating dental problems is not only necessary for your oral health but your overall health as well.
The diagnosis of your disease or disorder is done in two parts.
- First, the dentist will perform a preliminary check-up in the office and come to a provisional diagnosis based on your chief complaint, your medical history, clinical findings alone.
- Then with the help of X-rays (OPG, PA, etc.,) and lab investigations(like blood tests), a final diagnosis is made on which your treatment plan will be based.
WHAT IS NEEDED FOR A PROPER DIAGNOSIS?
- It is important that you give a complete history of your complaint to the dentist, as even the most minor details or clues helps us in diagnosing the source of your problems. It is required that you mention even your allergies, your habits(smoking, paan chewing, etc) or even the most minor discomfort experienced by you. Expectant women are required to disclose their details as their treatment plan will be based accordingly.
- The radiology part of this specialty includes getting X-rays to confirm the preliminary diagnosis made by your dentist. The X-rays help us understand the severity or depth of your problem. They are taken to provide an accurate assessment of what needs to be done. From getting an OPG (complete X-ray for all the teeth & jaws) for your orthodontic correction to getting an IOPA (x-ray of teeth – usually of 1-3 teeth & surrounding structures) for your root canal or extractions – X-rays are invaluable to your treatment and it must be kept with you for future purposes as well.
Types of X-rays: There are several types of X-rays available and based on your complaint, different X-rays will be advised to you.
- if you experience pain in one of your teeth, you will be required to take an IOPA- which is a small X-ray film.
- If you have problems with multiple teeth then an OPG will be advised
- If you are looking to get the orthodontic correction done, you will be advised to get an OPG, Lateral ceph, etc. Different X-rays have different uses and you will be advised accordingly. Dental X-rays may seem complex, but they are actually very common tools and an integral part of your overall oral health.
Extra-oral imaging resources like MRI have their uses in diagnosing pathologies of the jaws, TMJ problems, etc. A CT scan
is useful in diagnosing any head injuries, the extent of the maxillofacial fractures, etc.
Missing teeth replacements by dental implants use CBCT, which provides accurate images about the implant site like
bone height, the width of the bone.
While dental X-rays involve radiation, the levels of it are very low and there are ways to even lower the radiations with the help of a thyroid collar, lead apron so as to protect unnecessary exposure to the vital organs. Pregnant women should inform their dentist of their pregnancy as radiation is not safe for the developing child.
Dental X-rays do not require any special preparation. You will be asked to sit on the chair and the X-ray machine will be positioned depending on the location of your complaint and within seconds the image will be recorded.
Blood investigations are an integral part of dental treatment. Patients can have several underlying
diseases which can be diagnosed with through blood tests like bleeding disorders, infections, diabetes, etc. These undiagnosed systemic conditions can affect the dental treatment and if diagnosed, the
dentist can take necessary steps to proceed with the treatment without any complications.
It is aptly said that your oral cavity is a mirror to your systemic general overall health. Not only does your systemic health reflect on your oral cavity but sometimes your oral health helps us in diagnosing any underlying systemic conditions you might have. Diseases like diabetes, lupus, leukemia, etc., all have their manifestations in the oral cavity. So in case, it is undiagnosed, the findings from the oral cavity might just help you diagnose it.
The significance of correctly diagnosing your problem depends on several factors. Effective communication plays a key role. Our job is to not only to correct oral problems which you might have but even prevent any future diseases. It is our duty to facilitate better patient outcome and to improve your quality of life.
In COMHTS, Dr. Aseema supported by a dedicated & professionally efficient team, believe in making patients comfortable and treating them in a compassionate manner. Dr. Aseema & her team believe that a personalized approach and a close interaction with patients is a crucial step to understand, assess and provide the best of results. Diagnosis & making the patient aware of the treatment becomes an essential part of this process as well.