Are Panoramic Radiographs Reliable to Diagnose Mild Alveolar Bone Resorption?

ISRN Dentistry
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 363578, 4 pages

It is extremely important to assess variations between the most used radiographs in dental practice, since minimum distortion on obtained images may change diagnosis, treatment plan, and prognosis for the patient. For this, the distance between the enamel-cementum junction and the alveolar bone crest was measured on conventional and digitized periapical, bitewing, and panoramic radiographs and compared among them. From a total of 1484 records, 39 sets of radiographs that fulfilled the inclusion criteria of the study sample were selected. The measurements were grouped according to the intensity of bone loss.  Statistically significant difference was found in the averages of the measurements assessed in radiographs with absence of bone loss between conventional panoramic and periapical radiographs, between digitized panoramic and periapical radiographs and between digitized bitewing and panoramic radiographs. By analyzing the results of this work and considering the research protocol used, one can conclude that small losses in height of alveolar bone crest observed in panoramic radiographs should be cautiously evaluated, as they may be overestimated.


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