PURPOSE: The use of micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) scans in biomedical and dental research is growing rapidly. This study aimed to explore the scientific literature on approaches and applications of micro-CT in restorative dentistry.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: An electronic search of publications from January 2009 to March 2021 was conducted using ScienceDirect, PubMed, and Google Scholar. The search included only English-language articles. Therefore, only studies that addressed recent advances and the potential uses of micro-CT in restorative and preventive dentistry were selected.
RESULTS: Micro-CT is a tool that enables 3-dimensional imaging on a small scale with very high resolution. In this method, there is no need for sample preparation or slicing. Therefore, it is possible to examine the internal structure of tissue and the internal adaptation of materials to surfaces without destroying them. Due to these advantages, micro-CT has been recommended as a standard imaging tool in dental research for many applications such as tissue engineering, endodontics, restorative dentistry, and research on the mineral density of hard tissues and bone growth. However, the high costs of micro-CT, the time necessary for scanning and reconstruction, computer expertise requirements, and the enormous volume of information are drawbacks.
CONCLUSION: The potential of micro-CT as an emerging, accurate, non-destructive approach is clear, and the valuable research findings reported in the literature provide an impetus for researchers to perform future studies focusing on employing this method in dental research.