Performance of Cone Beam Computed Tomography Systems in Visualizing the Cortical Plate in 3D Image Reconstruction: An In Vitro Study

The Open Dentistry Journal 31 Aug 2018 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874210601812010586



Cortical bone is an important anatomical structure and its thickness needs to be determined prior to many dental procedures to ensure treatment success. Imaging modalities are necessarily used in dentistry for treatment planning and dental procedures. Three-dimensional image reconstruction not only provides visual information but also enables accurate measurement of anatomical structures; thus, it is necessarily required for maxillofacial examination and in case of skeletal problems in this region.


This study aimed to assess the ability of three Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) systems including Cranex 3D, NewTom 3G and 3D Promax for Three-Dimensional (3D) image reconstruction of the cortical plate with variable thicknesses.


Depending on the cortical bone thickness, samples were evaluated in three groups of ≤ 0. 5 mm, 0.6 -1 mm and 1.1-1.5 mm cortical bone thickness. The CBCT scans were obtained from each sample using three systems, their respective FOVs, and 3D scans were reconstructed using their software programs. Two observers viewed the images twice with a two-week interval. The ability of each system in the 3D reconstruction of different thicknesses of cortical bone was determined based on its visualization on the scans. The data were analyzed using SPSS and Kappa test.


The three systems showed the greatest difference in the 3D reconstruction of cortical bone with < 0.5 mm thickness. Cranex 3D with 4×6 cm2 FOV had the highest and 3D Promax with 8×8 cm2 FOV had the lowest efficacy for 3D reconstruction of cortical bone. Cranex 3D with 4×6 cm2 and 6×8 cm2 FOVs and NewTom 3G with 5×5 cm2 and 8×5 cm2 FOVs showed significantly higher efficacy for 3D reconstruction of cortical bone with 0.6-1mm thickness while 3D Promax followed by NewTom 3G with 8×8 cm2 FOV had the lowest efficacy for this purpose.


Most CBCT systems have high efficacy for 3D image reconstruction of cortical bone with thicknesses over 1 mm while they have poor efficacy for image reconstruction of cortical bone with less than 0.5 mm thickness. Thus, for accurate visualization of anatomical structures on CBCT scans, systems with smaller FOVs and consequently smaller voxel size are preferred.

Keywords: Cone-Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT), Cortical bone, Imaging, Three-dimensional, Image processing, Computer-assisted.
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