Objectives: To evaluate the limit of tooth crack width visualization by two MRI pulse sequences in comparison with CBCT. Methods: Two extracted human teeth with known crack locations and dimensions, as determined by reference standard microCT, were selected for experimental imaging. Crack location/dimension and the presence of common dental restorative materials such as amalgam were typical of that found clinically. Experimental imaging consisted of conventional CBCT scans and MRI scans with two pulse sequences including Sweep Imaging with Fourier Transformation (SWIFT) and gradient echo (GRE). CBCT and MR images of extracted teeth were acquired using acquisition parameters identical to those used for in vivo imaging. Experimental and reference standard images were registered and the limit of tooth crack visualization was determined. Results: Collected images indicate that SWIFT could demonstrate cracks with 20-mm width, which is 10 times narrower than the imaging voxel size. Cracks of this size were not visible in GRE images, even with a short echo time of 2.75 ms. The CBCT images were distorted by artefacts owing to close location of metallic restorations. Conclusions: The successful visualization of cracks with the SWIFT MRI sequence compared with other clinical modalities suggests that SWIFT MRI can effectively detect microcracks in teeth and therefore may have potential to be a non-invasive method for the in vivo detection of cracks in human teeth.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research is supported by National Institutes of Health grants P41 EB015894, S10 RR023730 and S10 RR027290 and WM KECK Foundation.
© 2016 The Authors. Published by the British Institute of Radiology.
Copyright 2016 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
- Diagnostic imaging
- Tooth fractures