A Comparison of Computed Tomography Scans and Digital Periapical Radiographs Ridge Height Measurements

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To investigate the agreement between computerized tomography scans (CT) and intraoral periapical digital radiographs (PA) alveolar ridge height measurements in maxillary and mandibular posterior regions. We reviewed 100 implant patient radiographic records and identified 27 mandibular sites in 19 patients and 23 maxillary sites in 13 patients with available CT scans and matching PA radiographs. The distance from the crest of the ridge to the floor of the maxillary sinus or to the superior border of the inferior alveolar canal was measured. PAs were measured with Dexis software v. 8.0 and CTs were measured with Simplant software v. 11.02. Two examiners (RJ and MM) recorded the measurements separately; each examiner recorded two readings. The average of the 4 readings was used for data analysis. Absolute agreement: Paired t test comparing ridge-height measurements between the two imaging methods showed no differences for maxillary sites (P > 0.2) and significant differences for the mandibular sites (CT > PA, P = 0.0009). Relative agreement: Kendall rank correlation analysis of ridge-height measurements between the 2 imaging methods showed a high positive correlation for maxillary sites (Kendall's tau = 0.76, P = 0.0001) and moderate correlation for the mandibular sites (Kendall's tau = 0.46, P = 0.001). Maxillary PAs tend to approximate CT ridge-height measurements. By contrast mandibular PAs tend to underestimate the distance from the crest of the ridge to the inferior alveolar canal.

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