Q: The arrows are pointing at:
D. Dens in dente
- Dens in dente (also called dens invaginatus) is formed as the enamel organ goes into the crown of a tooth before mineralization is completed. Radiographically, a tooth-like structure appears within the crown. Due to the irregularities of the crown structure, the tooth is more vulnerable to caries and infections, including periapical lesions. Dens invaginatus is most common with maxillary lateral incisors.
- Geminationis when one crown splits into two, creating two crowns.
- Fusion is the combination of two tooth buds with separate canals.
- Concrescence occurs when roots adhere together by cementum only.
Answer: (D). Dens in dente
Now, you may have noticed that this does NOT really look like a “tooth” within the tooth. It may just look like some radiopacity inside the tooth. For this reason, if a question asks you to identify dens in dente in the dental assistant board exams (Radiology, General chairside, Infection control, Topical fluoride, NDAEB, etc.), look very carefully. Also, look at the keywords “maxillary lateral incisors” too that could be a hint to dens in dente.
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Author: Claire RDH, CDA, MS
Claire is the founder of StudentRDH and SmarterDA – exams prep solutions for the dental hygiene and dental assisting students. The exam review online solutions quickly became the #1 choice among students. “Studying is now “addictive!”
Prior to her career in the dental field, Claire Jeong was an education specialist at Boston Children’s Museum. Claire is licensed to practice in the United States and Canada. She can be reached at ClaireJ@SmarterDA.com and support@SmarterDA.com.