To compare cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) with periapical radiography for the identification of simulated endodontic complications.
Sixteen human teeth, in three mandibles, were submitted to the following simulated endodontic complications: G1) fractured endodontic file; G2) root perforation; G3) cast post with deviation; G4) external root resorption. Periapical radiographs were taken of each tooth at three different angles, and CBCT scan was taken. One calibrated examiner who was specialized in dental radiology interpreted the images. The results were analysed using the following scoring system: 0 - unidentified alteration; 1 - alteration identified with inaccurate diagnosis; and 2 - alteration identified with accurate diagnosis. Data were analysed using McNemar and Wilcoxon tests (alfa=0.05).
In the overall assessment, CBCT was superior when compared with periapical radiographs (P<0.05). When individual results on each complication were evaluated, CBCT was superior only in the identification of external root resorption (100% Score 2) (P<0.05).
Cone-beam computed tomography could be an alternative to periapical radiographs especially in the detection and assessment of external root resorption.
© 2010 International Endodontic Journal.