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Dental Showcase

Article: Volume 46 Number 6 Page 554 - June 2019

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  Dent Update 2019; 46: 554-560

Radiology:  Non Dental Incidental Findings on Dental Panoramic Radiographs: Identification and Management

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Abstract: All relevant ‘dental’ radiographic anomalies require a report, be they related to the teeth, mandible, maxillary sinuses, temporomandibular joints or soft tissues. However, non-dental incidental findings are often present on dental radiographs, some of which may be due to systemic disease: these should also be assessed. We compare the confidence at diagnosing, and subsequent management of, three such incidental findings between specialist dental and maxillofacial radiologists and recently qualified dentists. The imaging features and clinical implications of dense bone islands, carotid artery calcification and osteoporosis are described.

Clinical relevance: Dental panoramic radiographs cover structures not confined to the tooth-bearing areas and incidental findings in these regions should be recognized and appropriately reported, in line with IR(ME)R legislation.

Author notes: Aisha Ahsan-Mohammed, BDS(Hons) MFDS(Edin), Dental Core Trainee (email:, Rosalyn J Clarkson, BDS, MJDF, DDMFR RCR, StR Dental and Maxillofacial Radiology and Fiona A Carmichael, BDS, FDS RCPS, MSc, DDR RCR, Consultant Dental and Maxillofacial Radiology, Leeds Dental Institute, Clarendon Way, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS2 9LU, UK.

Objective: To enable identification, reporting and increase awareness of the clinical implications of all findings.