Dental imaging as a dashboard of your body. Need to break the Great Wall between dentistry and general health
Great mouth! The Oral cavity is the leading portal to our body. This miracle organ takes up about a third of our head and can rightfully be considered a mirror of our organism and serves as its dashboard. Many of our daily functions begin with the mouth, from the regular eating of food to communication and pleasure. Yes, sensual pleasure comes not only from the "yummy" products but also from kisses and sex. We use our teeth, tongue, cheeks, gums, lips, muscles, and jaw joints to grind and taste food, soak it with saliva, and swallow it. This unique mechanism gives us a further opportunity to nourish our bodies. Verbal communication is impossible without the collaborative work of this system's parts mentioned above.
Moreover, our mouth is the most famous organ for imaging!!! On the one hand, dentists photographed our oral cavity from the inside. On the other hand, a dental checkup routine includes Rx of the teeth. Therefore, CT scans of the jaws have become a must before dental implantation. The new technologies for digital impressions capture our mouth inside with the help of an intraoral scan camera, which replaced the classical analogic ones.
On the other hand, our mouth is the essential part of the selfie. Young people take a selfie smiling and exposing their teeth and tongue. My teenage daughter and her friends always show their tongue as the main "asset" of every picture. Historically, there has been no interconnection between general medicine and oral-dental health. The overwhelming majority of family doctors don't have any access to oral health records. They are unaware of clinical and Rx findings in the said area, which can provide more information about medical non-dental conditions. The patients have no access to their dental and oral records. In a few cases, the patients have the disc with a CT scan or hard copy of the last Rx. Dental records and scans stay in the sole possession of the dental clinics. I firmly believe that shortly, we can move the wall that separates such an important oral area from the rest of the human body. By applying AI and machine learning to high-quality oral data, we can make better decisions for the sake of patients.