Comparison of cone beam computed tomography and digital intraoral radiography performance in the detection of artificially induced recurrent caries-like lesions

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The aim of this study was to compare the performance of cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) and digital radiography in the detection of artificial recurrent caries-like lesions under amalgam and composite fillings.

Study Design.

The study included class II cavities in 30 molars that had been filled with amalgam. Fifteen of those molars had the restoration–enamel interface artificially demineralized. Phantoms were prepared, and CBCT images were acquired with 2 units in 3 voxel sizes (K9000, 0.076 mm; i-CAT, 0.2 mm and 0.4 mm). Intraoral radiographs were obtained with 3 systems (Digora, VistaScan, and RVG-6100). Amalgam fillings were then replaced by composite, and new images were obtained. Three examiners assessed all of the images. Sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, and receiver operating characteristic curve were calculated and verified through analysis of variance and the Tukey test.


There were no significant differences in sensitivity and specificity when the same restorative material was present or when the restorative materials were compared with the imaging technique as a constant. As for accuracy and receiver operating characteristic curve, there were statistically significant differences when the 2 materials were compared, and there were differences in the amalgam group when the imaging modalities were compared.


CBCT performed similarly to intraoral radiography in detecting demineralization under restorations. However, the voxel size and the type of restorative material influenced its performance.

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