Assessment of periodontal bone level revisited: a controlled study on the diagnostic accuracy of clinical evaluation methods and intra-oral radiography
SourceClinical Oral Investigations, 22, 1, (2018), pp. 425-431
Article / Letter to editor
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Clinical Oral Investigations
SubjectRadboudumc 10: Reconstructive and regenerative medicine RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
OBJECTIVES: The accuracy of analogue and especially digital intra-oral radiography in assessing interdental bone level needs further documentation. The aim of this study was to compare clinical and radiographic bone level assessment to intra-surgical bone level registration (1) and to identify the clinical variables rendering interdental bone level assessment inaccurate (2). MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study sample included 49 interdental sites in 17 periodontitis patients. Evaluation methods included vertical relative probing attachment level (RAL-V), analogue and digital intra-oral radiography and bone sounding without and with flap elevation. The latter was considered the true bone level. Five examiners evaluated all radiographs. RESULTS: Significant underestimation of the true bone level was observed for all evaluation methods pointing to 2.7 mm on average for analogue radiography, 2.5 mm for digital radiography, 1.8 mm for RAL-V and 0.6 mm for bone sounding without flap elevation (p < 0.001). Radiographic underestimation of the true bone level was higher in the (pre)molar region (p </= 0.047) and increased with defect depth (p < 0.001). Variation between clinicians was huge (range analogue radiography 2.2-3.2 mm; range digital radiography 2.1-3.0 mm). CONCLUSION: All evaluation methods significantly underestimated the true bone level. Bone sounding was most accurate, whereas intra-oral radiographs were least accurate. Deep periodontal defects in the (pre)molar region were most underrated by intra-oral radiography. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Bone sounding had the highest accuracy in assessing interdental bone level.
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