Panoramic radiographs made before complete removable dental prostheses fabrication: A retrospective study of clinical significance

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Statement of problem.

The value of digital panoramic radiographs to screen for problems before fabricating conventional complete dentures is unclear.


The purpose of this retrospective study was to examine the influence of pretreatment digital panoramic radiographs on the clinical management of patients receiving complete removable dental prostheses.

Material and methods.

The clinical records, including panoramic radiographs, of 169 patients seeking new complete removable dental prostheses over a 6-year period were interpreted independently by both a prosthodontist and an oral and maxillofacial radiologist to identify radiographic findings that influenced clinical patient management. A 95% confidence interval and an observed proportion of agreement were used to interpret the results.


Sixty percent of the 169 radiographs examined had 1 or more abnormal or positive radiographic findings; however, only 6 (<4%) of 165 abnormalities detected influenced patient management, and 3 of them were identified during the clinical examination.


Pretreatment digital panoramic radiographs revealed very few abnormalities that influenced the treatment of patients requiring complete removable dental prostheses. Furthermore, the digital images in this study revealed positive findings at a rate similar to those found in studies assessing analog radiographs, reinforcing current guidelines that recommend against radiographic screening of patients who seek new complete removable dental prostheses.

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