Although I have in the past shown some images I wanted to provide some clinical relevance regarding the prevalence of CACNs and the role of dentists.
In adults with a negative history for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension and chronic kidney disease about 5-7% of adults over the age of 40 years may have CACNs seen of pans or CBCTs. In patients with diseases listed, the prevalence will approach 50%.
To put this in context, a dentist with an average sized dental office population may see 3-5 oral cancers in their practicing life time.
However, the number of CACNs will probably be in the 100s of patients. For those patients who do not know they have hypertension, diabetes or kidney disease, the first indication of their cardiovascular disease may be a fatal heart attack or stroke.
If a dentist sees a CACN in a patient with a normal medical history and refers them to their MD to further evaluate, they will probably save many lives.
By Dr. Douglas K Benn DDS, PhD, Dipl. Dental Radiology (Royal College of Radiologists, England)
Oral and Maxillofacial Radiologist
3610 Leavenworth Court
Omaha, NE 68105-1200 USA