The American Academy of Thermology (AAT) has published revised guidelines for oral-systemic thermography to aid in the performance of dental-systemic health infrared imaging in evaluating patients with dental-oral and systemic health related complaints. Implying a consensus of those substantially concerned with its scope and provisions, the guidelines cover:
• Patient communication and preparation
• Patient assessment
• Examination guidelines
• Review of the infrared thermography examination
• Presentation of exam findings
• Preparation and storage of exam findings
• Exam time recommendations
• Continuing professional education
• Emerging technologies
Thermography is a noninvasive technology for imaging and mapping microcirculatory shunting associated with circulatory changes in the skin. It can play an important adjunctive role in the assessment and clinical diagnosis of dental-oral and certain systemic health related illnesses and diseases, according to the AAT. When performed and interpreted within the scope of these guidelines, the AAT adds, dental/systemic health thermography also can play a useful role in monitoring the treatment effects of dental-oral and specified systemic health conditions.
“Other structural imaging technologies such as X-ray, ultrasound, CT, and MRI do not provide the information offered by dental/systemic health thermal imaging. The clinical application of thermography can help physicians both understand patho-physiology and improve patient outcomes,” said Jeffrey J. Lefko, executive director of the AAT.