Is dentistry ready for diagnostic ultrasound? And, new irrigants improve root canals

Dear DrBicuspid Member,

Ultrasound has been used in dentistry for years in clinical applications ranging from power scaling to root canal preparation. But while this imaging modality has long been a standard diagnostic tool in other medical disciplines, it has yet to play the same role in dentistry.

This could all be about to change, however, if two commercial start-ups can successfully navigate the product development and regulatory processes. Building on years of research, both companies are developing ultrasonography devices for dentistry -- one to noninvasively screen for periodontal disease, the other to detect tooth fractures and caries. And both say U.S. Food and Drug Administration clearance could come as soon as next year. Read more in our latest Imaging & CAD/CAM Community feature.

And in Restoratives Community news, while we can't completely change the public's perception of root canals, new technologies and improved techniques have brought us a long way from the endless hand filing and bleach-stained scrubs that once made dentists dread root canals as much as patients do. Click here to read how advances in irrigants are improving endodontic outcomes.

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