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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 123-129

Feasibility of micro-computed tomography to detect and classify proximal caries lesions in vitro

1 Department of Oral Diagnosis, Division of Oral Radiology, Piracicaba Dental School, State University of Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil
2 Department of Dentistry, Section of Oral Radiology, University of Aarhus, Aarhus, Denmark

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Thiago Oliveira Sousa
Department of Oral Diagnosis, Division of Oral Radiology, Piracicaba Dental School, State University of Campinas, Avenida Limeira, P.O. Box 52, Zip Code 13414-903 Piracicaba, São Paulo
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1735-3327.226529

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Background: Micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) has been widely described as a nondestructive in vitro imaging method although its accuracy for caries detection is still unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility of micro-CT to detect and classify proximal caries lesions in posterior teeth, using different protocols. Materials and Methods: In this in vitro study, crowns of 122 human teeth were scanned with Skyscan 1174 (Bruker, Kontich, Belgium) using the full-scan mode (360°). Reconstruction of 900 basis images was performed using NRecon Software (Bruker, Kontich, Belgium) for the protocol 1 (full-scan mode 360°), and 450 basis images were used to reconstruct the protocol 2 (half-scan mode 180°). Three observers analyzed the reconstructed images concerning the presence and depth of proximal caries lesions (244 surfaces). To determine the presence/absence and depth of caries lesions, histological examination was conducted as reference standard level of significance McNemar and McNemar-Bowker tests compared the methods studied and the gold standard (P < 0.05). Results: The intra- and inter-observer agreement for both methods ranged from moderate to excellent. There was no difference between both micro-CT methods and histology for the presence of lesions (P > 0.05). However, both methods differed with the reference standard for depth (P < 0.05). The disagreement occurred mostly in cases of enamel lesions. The highest diagnostic values were found for 180° rotation. Micro-CT performed well in detecting caries lesions compared to histology, meanwhile the classification of their depth presented lower values. Scan mode did not influence the detection. Conclusion: Both protocols of micro-CT tested presented an overall satisfactory performance in detecting proximal caries lesions; however, for the depth classification, the method was not accurate.

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