aim of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic efficacy of cone-beam
computed tomographic (CBCT) imaging in endodontics based on a systematic
search and analysis of the literature using an efficacy model.
systematic search of the literature was performed to identify studies
evaluating the use of CBCT imaging in endodontics. The identified
studies were subjected to strict inclusion criteria followed by an
analysis using a hierarchical model of efficacy (model) designed for
appraisal of the literature on the levels of efficacy of a diagnostic
485 possible relevant articles were identified. After title and abstract
screening and a full-text evaluation, 58 articles (12%) that met the
inclusion criteria were analyzed and allocated to levels of efficacy.
Most eligible articles (n = 52, 90%) evaluated technical
characteristics or the accuracy of CBCT imaging, which was defined in
this model as low levels of efficacy. Only 6 articles (10%) proclaimed
to evaluate the efficacy of CBCT imaging to support the practitioner's
decision making; treatment planning; and, ultimately, the treatment
outcome, which was defined as higher levels of efficacy.
expected ultimate benefit of CBCT imaging to the endodontic patient as
evaluated by its level of diagnostic efficacy is unclear and is mainly
limited to its technical and diagnostic accuracy efficacies. Even for
these low levels of efficacy, current knowledge is limited. Therefore, a
cautious and rational approach is advised when considering CBCT imaging
for endodontic purposes.