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Dental biopsy

A biopsy is a diagnostic test to collect a piece of tissue in which a suspicious change has been detected. The material obtained in this way is then subjected to microscopic examination, making it possible to define the nature of a given change. It is usually performed in local anesthesia, while for children, general anesthesia is recommended.

It is performed in the case of:

  • lesions of a potential neoplastic nature (benign and malignant), neoplasms benign and malignant,
  • cysts and nodules,
  • actinomycosis (a disease causing the formation of hard tumors with purulent foci),
  • fibrous dysplasia,
  • dystrophic or atrophic changes,
  • syphilis and tuberculosis.

The course of the procedure

Before the procedure, the patient’s task is to inform the doctor about any problems with the throat or larynx, medications, other diseases or bleeding tendencies (hemorrhagic diathesis).

If the doctor has detected a pathological change in the oral cavity during previous tests – he will refer the patient for a dental biopsy. Depending on its location, a fragment of soft tissues is collected (gums or an enlarged lymph node), teeth or the jaw bone. Then the collected fragment is subjected to microscopic histopathological examination in the laboratory – its purpose is to establish the type of lesion we are dealing with and to exclude or confirmation of whether it is malignant (cancerous).

Types of biopsy

Depending on the location of the lesion, the doctor may use a biopsy:

  • fine-needle or coarse-needle aspiration (in the case of soft tissues),
  • segmental (when a section of the changed tissue is surgically removed),
  • drill (in case of necessity to collect bone material).

Dental fine-needle and coarse-needle aspiration biopsy consists in inserting the needle through the skin and collecting cells from a suspicious lesion, e.g. a lump or cyst. The study differs only in thickness of a needle used – according to the doctor’s choice.

A tissue biopsy is the surgical removal of a pathological fragment of soft tissue. Drill biopsy is used to collect a roll of changed bone tissue with special drill. Usually, if the lesion is small and clearly not neoplastic, the entire lesion is excised, however, if it is large and there is a suspicion of cancerous nature, it downloads only a small fragment of the biopsy.