Dentists will discover pathology through the use of cone beam technology, such as calcifications that can signify systemic disease. For example, if a dentist sees bilateral calcifications in the neck, then it most likely is a systemic finding, such as medial-arterial calcifications seen in uncontrolled and undiagnosed diabetes. Dr. Dale Miles, oral and maxillofacial radiologist in Fountain Hills, Arizona says that when those calcifications occur, it can signify that the patient may also have renal disease.
Diabetics can have kidney failure late in the uncontrolled stages of disease so we're picking up these findings in both the neck and parasellar region in many cases, says Dr. Miles. Dr. Miles has two articles going to press reporting these findings.
EasyRiter is report-generating software that Dr. Miles uses and it includes many recommendations to help guide dentists refer their patients to the primary care physician or if there is paranasal sinus disease, an otolaryngologist. EasyRiter has built in recommendations because dentists will see these changes in the excellent CBCT images.
Dr. Miles says that there isn't a week that goes by where a dentist doesn't see a diabetic patient that requires their insulin levels be appropriate for the intended dental procedure. Now, says Dr. Miles, dentists have the tools if a patient shows signs and symptoms or has a history that their diabetes is not in control. The dentists can order a cone beam scan and look for some of these other changes.