Clinical Research| Volume 47, ISSUE 6, P914-923, June 2021

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Diagnosis and Management of Traumatic Dental Injuries Using Intraoral Radiography and Cone-beam Computed Tomography: An In Vivo Investigation

Published:March 07, 2021DOI:


      The aim of this study was to compare periapical radiographs (PRs) and upper standard occlusal (USO) radiographs with cone-beam computed tomographic (CBCT) imaging on clinicians’ confidence in the diagnosis and management of traumatic dental injuries (TDIs).


      This study included 35 maxillary anterior teeth from 25 patients with at least 1 PR (parallax view) and a CBCT scan. Fourteen patients also had a USO radiograph. Ten examiners selected a diagnosis and treatment plan, which were compared with a reference standard. Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictor values, and receiver operating characteristic analysis were used to determine the diagnostic accuracy.


      CBCT imaging exhibited significantly higher sensitivity than both conventional radiographic techniques combined (PRs and PRs + USO radiographs) for all diagnoses (TDI: 99% vs 84%, lateral luxation: 80% vs 34%, extrusions: 92% vs 42%, and cortical plate fracture: 58% vs 1%) other than horizontal root fractures in which the results were close to statistical significance (88% vs 69%). CBCT imaging was significantly more accurate for all diagnoses (TDI: 91% vs 70%, lateral luxations: 83% vs 61%, extrusive luxations: 92% vs 68%, alveolar cortical plate fractures: 78% vs 48%, and horizontal root fractures: 93% vs 82%). Examiners had the most confidence with CBCT imaging and the least confidence in diagnosing using PRs + USO radiographs than with PRs alone. Agreement with management plans was significantly better using CBCT imaging compared with PRs and PRs + USO radiographs.


      CBCT imaging improved the clinical diagnosis of TDIs. The addition of USO radiographs to PRs did not improve the diagnosis of TDIs in this investigation. CBCT imaging improved confidence in the diagnosis of TDI cases and treatment planning compared with conventional radiography.

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