An adequate portrayal of the root canal anatomy by diagnostic imaging is a prerequisite for a successful diagnosis and therapy in endodontics. The introduction of dental cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) has considerably expanded the scope of imaging diagnostics. The aim of the following study was to evaluate the imaging of endodontic structures with CBCT. One hundred and twenty teeth were examined with a CBCT device (ProMax 3D). Subsequently, the findings of the three-dimensional images were evaluated and compared to those of dental radiographs and tangential section preparations of the examined teeth. Results with high prevalence, such as existing roots and root canals, as well as results with low prevalence, e.g., extremely fine anatomical structures of the endodontic tissue, could be visualized precisely by dental CBCT; side canals, ramifications, communications, pulp stones, and obliterations could also be detected. Additionally, the length of curved root canals could be determined accurately. Likewise, root fractures were visualized reliably with CBCT. However, carious lesions could not be diagnosed adequately, and the evaluation of fillings and prosthetic restorations was complicated due to scattered X-ray artifacts. CBCT datasets qualify to visualize and diagnose small anatomical structures of the endodontic tissue.
Possibilities and limits of imaging endodontic structures with CBCT
The aim of the following study was to evaluate the imaging of endodontic structures with CBCT.