This in vitro study was conducted to evaluate a method to obtain reproducible periapical radiographs, using individualized positioning devices, of upper central incisors submitted to simulated orthodontic movement. Linear measurements of tooth length were carried out on 29 extracted human central incisors. The teeth were radiographed in a tissue simulator, at different inclinations in the bucco-lingual direction (0 initial, 0 control, −10, −5, +5, and +10 degrees). The radiographs were digitized and quantitative analysis of tooth length was carried out using an electronic ruler.
The linear measurements of tooth length were reproducible (r=0.99) for repeated measurements as well as in the comparison of the initial and control images at 0 degree, where measurements did not differ significantly (analysis of variance, P=0.827) in radiographs with different angulations. These results show that the method proposed for obtaining in vitro periapical radiographs results in reproducible images of tooth length, even when orthodontic movement is simulated by inclination of the tooth up to 20 degrees in the bucco-lingual direction.