RESEARCH ARTICLE


Accuracy of Panoramic Radiograph in Assessment of the Relationship Between Mandibular Canal and Impacted Third Molars



Weeraya Tantanapornkul*, Darika Mavin, Jaruthai Prapaiphittayakun, Natnicha Phipatboonyarat, Wanchanok Julphantong
Department of Oral Diagnosis, Faculty of Dentistry, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok 65000, Thailand


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© Tantanapornkul et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/legalcode), which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Oral Diagnosis, Faculty of Dentistry, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok 65000, Thailand; E-mail: weerayatan@yahoo.com


Abstract

Background:

The relationship between impacted mandibular third molar and mandibular canal is important for removal of this tooth. Panoramic radiography is one of the commonly used diagnostic tools for evaluating the relationship of these two structures.

Objectives:

To evaluate the accuracy of panoramic radiographic findings in predicting direct contact between mandibular canal and impacted third molars on 3D digital images, and to define panoramic criterion in predicting direct contact between the two structures.

Methods:

Two observers examined panoramic radiographs of 178 patients (256 impacted mandibular third molars). Panoramic findings of interruption of mandibular canal wall, isolated or with darkening of third molar root, diversion of mandibular canal and narrowing of third molar root were evaluated for 3D digital radiography. Direct contact between mandibular canal and impacted third molars on 3D digital images was then correlated with panoramic findings. Panoramic criterion was also defined in predicting direct contact between the two structures.

Results:

Panoramic findings of interruption of mandibular canal wall, isolated or with darkening of third molar root were statistically significantly correlated with direct contact between mandibular canal and impacted third molars on 3D digital images (p < 0.005), and were defined as panoramic criteria in predicting direct contact between the two structures.

Conclusion:

Interruption of mandibular canal wall, isolated or with darkening of third molar root observed on panoramic radiographs were effective in predicting direct contact between mandibular canal and impacted third molars on 3D digital images. Panoramic radiography is one of the efficient diagnostic tools for pre-operative assessment of impacted mandibular third molars.

Keywords: 3D digital radiograph, Inferior alveolar nerve, Panoramic radiograph, Third molar.