In general, periodontal tissues are clinically assessed using calibrated periodontal probes and radiographs. Due to technical developments and the availability of cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT), 3-D imaging has become feasible and offers some advantages and potential for the evaluation of complex anatomical structures. The present pilot study illustrates and validates the possibility of radiographically visualizing and metrically assessing hard and soft tissue. Artificial periodontal pockets were created in porcine mandibles and measured by clinical (i.e. pocket probing) and radiographic means (CBCT). For the latter method, pockets were filled with a radiopaque material allowing visualization by CBCT. Clinically simulated pocket depth probing and CBCT measurements were compared. The results showed no statistically significant differences between the two methods. Thus, the CBCT visualization approach points towards the development of a new and promising radiographic all-in-one evaluation system of the periodontal status. However, more research and development is required.

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