The use of cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) as a complementary imaging modality applies to various clinical situations that with conventional two-dimensional radiographs alone may pose diagnostic challenges. These challenges include but are not limited to locating missed canals in endodontic retreatment and diagnosing the presence of lesions such as resorption, periapical bone defects, root fractures, and perforations. In this study, we present a case of an asymptomatic apical periodontitis that was incidentally found on a panoramic radiograph. Analyses based on panoramic and periapical radiographs and clinical examinations were insufficient for definitive diagnosis, which necessitated the use of CBCT. The CBCT scan allowed identification of the cause of the apical disease, an unfilled mesiolingual canal in previously root canal treated left mandibular second molar, as well as the extent of the lesion. We also explore the diagnostic challenges in using traditional two-dimensional radiographs only, the challenges in locating root canals in mandibular second molars, and risks and benefits in using CBCT.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Oral Surgery
- Cone-beam computed tomography
- differential diagnosis
- endodontic treatment failure