Introduction: Asymptomatic inflammatory foci resulting from chronic dental infections or the presence of foreign bodies, e.g., in the sinuses, leading to serious local and systemic complications. These conditions, despite the absence of symptoms, are a source of bacterial, toxic, allergic, and neurogenic effects. Despite the developed radiological diagnostics in the form of pantomographic images and cone beam computed tomography (CBCT), thermal imaging is increasingly mentioned as an auxiliary tool in detecting and treating inflammatory foci of the craniofacial region. It is due that thermal imaging can bring indirectly metabolic information about studied tissues and thus allow the detection of early inflammatory lesions yet not invisible on X-ray diagnostics. The purpose of the study was to apply and validate a protocol for identifying asymptomatic inflammatory foci in the maxillofacial area using thermal imaging.

Material and methods: Patients referred to the institute were examined for the presence of inflammatory foci. Analysis of radiographs revealed asymptomatic foci in the maxillary sinus, which were associated with the presence of a displaced foreign body. Thermographic examinations were performed using a FLIR T540 thermal imaging camera.

Results: The obtained results showed a significant temperature difference between the suspected and opposite sinus. It was also confirmed that after the foreign body was removed from the sinus the temperature showed a dynamic decrease in time.

Conclusions: According to the study, thermography has the potential to become an essential diagnostic tool for inflammation of odontogenic origin. It offers non-invasiveness, safety, real-time imaging, painless and completely safe.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Medicine, Biomedical Engineering, Physics, Technical and Applied Physics, Medical Physics