Conventional versus Storage Phosphor-Plate Digital Images to Visualize the Root Canal System Contrasted with a Radiopaque Medium

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The pulp tissue was removed from 20 mandibular first molar teeth using 2.5% NaOCl irrigation and hand files. The dried canals were infused with radiopaque contrast medium. Standardized conventional and Digora digital images were obtained of each tooth positioned in a dried mandible at 0- and 30-degree horizontal angulations. Three evaluators rated the image clarity of the 0- and 30-degree original, enhanced, three-dimensional, zoom, and reverse digital image modes as superior, equal, or inferior to corresponding 0- and 30-degree conventional radiographs. The ratings were compared using the Wilcoxon signed rank test. The original, three-dimensional, zoom, or reverse digital images were inferior to the conventional radiographs for clarity of canal anatomy. The enhanced digital images were not always inferior to the conventional radiographs and were the only images superior to the original digital images. Overall, evaluators rated the image clarity of root canal anatomy on conventional radiographs better than on Digora images. However, factors in the experimental design may have contributed to this result.

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