CBCT more accurate in detecting vertical root fractures

Cone-beam CT (CBCT) is more effective than digital radiography for detecting vertical root fractures of different thicknesses in endodontically enlarged teeth, according to a new study in the Journal of Endodontics (July 2010, Vol. 36:7, pp. 1245-1249).

Senem Yiğit Özer, D.D.S., Ph.D., a faculty member in operative dentistry and endodontics at Dicle University in Turkey, compared the accuracy of CBCT scans and digital radiography in detecting simulated vertical root fractures with different thicknesses in extracted human teeth.

Dr. Özer endodontically prepared 80 teeth and divided them into four groups, three experimental and one control. The teeth in the experimental groups were artificially fractured and fixed together with different thicknesses: 0.2 mm, 0.4 mm, and smaller than 0.2 mm. Teeth in the control group were kept intact.

No significant differences in detection rate were noted among the observers (p > 0.5), Dr. Özer reported. The overall accuracy for detecting vertical root fractures was significantly higher with the cone-beam CT scans compared with the digital radiographs (p < 0.001).

In addition, the cone-beam CT scans were more accurate in detecting 0.2-mm vertical root fractures (70%) and 0.4-mm vertical root fractures (90%) compared to digital radiography (43.3% and 60%, respectively).

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