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ORIGINAL RESEARCH Table of Contents   
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 219-224
A comparative evaluation of film and digital panoramic radiographs in the assessment of position and morphology of impacted mandibular third molars


Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, J S S Dental College and Hospital, Mysore, India

Correspondence Address:
Karthikeya Patil
Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, J S S Dental College and Hospital, Mysore
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0970-9290.84290

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Background and Objective: Digital photo stimulable phosphor (PSP)-based radiography has many known theoretical advantages over conventional film radiography but its diagnostic efficacy has to be assessed clinically. This study compared the efficiency of conventional film-based panoramic radiographs with that of digital PSP-based panoramic radiographs in the assessment of position and morphology of impacted mandibular third molars. Materials and Methods: We selected a total of 80 impacted mandibular third molars that fulfilled the inclusion and exclusion criteria of this study. Both conventional film-based panoramic radiographs and digital PSP-based panoramic radiographs were taken of all the study samples and the teeth were later surgically removed. Conventional film-based and digital PSP-based panoramic radiographs were compared for their relative efficiencies in the assessment of impaction status, position of tooth, number of roots, root morphology, and proximity to mandibular canal of impacted mandibular third molars. An oral surgeon graded these same factors during/after surgical exploration and this assessment was considered the gold standard. The data obtained were statistically analyzed using descriptive statistics, chi-square test, and McNemar's test. Results: There was no statistically significant difference between conventional film-based radiographic assessment and digital PSP-based panoramic radiographic assessment of impaction status, position of tooth, number of roots, and proximity to mandibular canal of impacted mandibular third molars (P>0.05). However, there was significant difference between the two methods with regard to assessment of root morphology of impacted mandibular third molars (P=0.00). Interpretation and Conclusion : Conventional film-based panoramic radiographs and digital PSP-based panoramic radiographs were comparable in their accuracy in the preoperative study of impacted mandibular third molar with regard to impaction status, tooth position, number of roots, and proximity to the mandibular canal. Digital PSP-based panoramic radiographs were more accurate than conventional film-based panoramic radiographs in the assessment of root morphology of impacted mandibular third molars. Hence, we conclude that digital PSP-based panoramic radiographs can be used as an effective alternative to conventional film-based panoramic radiographs for assessment of position and morphology of impacted mandibular third molars.


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