The impact of radiographic imaging on the diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease has essentially remained unchanged for decades. Thus, periodontal diagnosis relies primarly on traditional two-dimensional representation of the alveolar bone. Recently, digital volume tomography (DVT) has been introduced for head and neck applications. Major advantages of the DVT are a markedly reduced radiation exposure and superior image quality when compared to conventional computed tomography (CT). With this device, three-dimensional sectional images in the axial, frontal and sagittal plane can be obtained at one examination with tomographic slices of widths ranging from 0.125 to 2 mm. Clinical applications of this unit have been reported for implant site imaging, orthodontics, and temporomandibular joint imaging. Investigations regarding the usefulness of DVT for periodontal applications are still in progress. Thus, a field of interest for the use in periodontology might be the imaging of periodontal intrabony defects, dehiscence and fenestration defects, periodontal cysts as well as the diagnosis of furcationinvolved molars.
Keywords: periodontal disease, alveolar bone loss, threedimensional imaging, computed tomography, digital volume tomography