Morphologic operations used to distinguish between two patient populations differing in periodontal health

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This study was conducted to determine whether morphologic operation procedures applied to digitized, non-standardized, clinical radiographs of mandibular alveolar bone could be used to distinguish between a population of patients diagnosed with periodontitis and a population of patients either diagnosed with gingivitis or having healthy gingivae.

Study design.

Two groups, one consisting of 29 patients who either had healthy gingivae or had been diagnosed with gingivitis and the other consisting of 32 patients who had been diagnosed with periodontitis, were compared. Pre-existing clinical radiographs were digitized, and for each patient three to six regions of interest were placed on an image of the mandibular posterior region of the interdental bone. The regions of interest were processed under two morphologic-operations protocols, and a mean density (referred to as an MO number) was calculated for each patient. With paired t-tests, the resulting MO numbers for the two groups were compared.


The two populations were statistically different (p < 0.05).


The results of this study indicate that morphologic operations have the potential to differentiate between patient groups differing in periodontal health.

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