Applying synthetic radiography to intraoral tomosynthesis: A step towards achieving 3D imaging in the dental clinic

Connor Puett, Christina R. Inscoe, Robert L. Hilton, Michael W. Regan Anderson, Lisa Perrone, Savannah Puett, Laurence R. Gaalaas, Enrique Platin, Jianping Lu, Otto Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


objectives: A practical approach to three-dimensional (3D) intraoral imaging would have many potential applications in clinical dentistry. Stationary intraoral tomosynthesis (sIOT) is an experimental 3D imaging technology that holds promise. The purpose of this study was to explore synthetic radiography as a tool to improve the clinical utility of the images generated by an sIOT scan. Methods: Extracted tooth specimens containing either caries adjacent to restorations (CAR) or vertical root fractures (VRF) were imaged by sIOT and standard dental radiography devices. Qualitative assessments were used to compare the conspicuity of these pathologies in the standard radiographs and in a set of multi-view synthetic radiographs generated from the information collected by sIOT. Results: The sIOT-based synthetic 2D radiographs contained less artefact than the image slices in the reconstructed 3D stack, which is the conventional approach to displaying information from a tomosynthesis scan. As a single sIOT scan can be used to generate synthetic radiographs from multiple viewing angles, the interproximal space was less likely to be obscured in the synthetic images compared to the standard radiograph. Additionally, the multi-view synthetic radiographs can potentially improve the display of CAR and VRFs as compared to a single standard radiograph. conclusions: This preliminary experience combining synthetic radiography and sIOT in extracted tooth models is encouraging and supports the ongoing study of this promising approach to 3D intraoral imaging with many potential applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20200159
JournalDentomaxillofacial Radiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge support from the National Cancer Institute (1F30CA235892-01). Otto Zhou has equity ownership and serves on the board of directors of Xintek, Inc., to which the technologies used or evaluated in this project have been licensed. Jianping Lu has equity ownership in Xintek, Inc. Enrique Platin has a financial interest in Surround Medical Systems. Some of the authors are inventors of patents on the licensed stationary intraoral tomosynthesis technology used in this study. All of these relationships and activities are under management by institutional conflict of interest committees.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Published by the British Institute of Radiology


  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Dental caries
  • Radiography
  • Tomosynthesis
  • Tooth fractures


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