This study aimed at developing a standard methodology for morphometric analysis and comparison of contralateral human premolar pulp space using microcomputed tomography (micro-CT) and semiautomated software. The primary objective was to establish a method to compare the complex and minute morphological internal volumes of contralateral premolar pulp spaces and determine their degree of similarity. The secondary aim was to introduce new methodology for selecting contralateral premolars for the study of biomaterials and techniques.Methods
Forty-one intact human premolar pairs (n = 82) extracted from 28 patients were scanned with micro-CT. Quantitative comparative evaluation was performed through geometric morphometric deviation analysis of the pulp spaces after mirroring, automatic alignment, and coregistration with semiautomated software. Geometric parameters compared included volume, surface, and surface over volume. Shape deviation analysis of transformed mean distances and root mean square errors was conducted.Results
The geometric parameters of the contralateral premolar pulp spaces had significantly higher similarity coefficients than random pairs (P < 0.001). The shape deviation analysis and transformed mean distances had significantly lower values for contralaterals compared with random pairs (P < 0.001). The contralateral geometries had a statistically significant narrower distribution in deviation when compared with random pairs (P < 0.001).Conclusions
We present a methodology that sets a new standard for internal validation of the teeth to be used in ex vivo testing of endodontic materials and techniques. It also shows that the resolution of the CT scan is crucial and that studies using cone beam CT cannot be used for such studies.