Digital versus conventional radiography for determination of primary incisor length
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Aim: This in vitro study evaluated the accuracy of primary incisor lengths determined by digital and conventional radiography compared to the actual tooth length. Methods: Twenty extracted primary maxillary incisors were mounted in acrylic blocks. Tooth length was estimated by using a straight-line measurement provided by the distance measurement tool of a digital dental imaging system (Computed Dental Radiography, Schick Technologies Inc.) and conventional E-speed film radiographs by using a digital caliper. Two operators familiar with both radiographic methods performed the estimates. The estimated tooth lengths were compared to the actual tooth lengths measured with the digital caliper. Data were statistically analyzed by Dahlberg's equation, paired t test, Pearson's correlation coefficient and ANOVA at 5% significance level. Results: There were no statistically significant differences (p = 0.85) between tooth length estimated on digital and conventional radiographs. Admitting as clinically acceptable a 0.5-mm discrepancy between the actual tooth lengths and the radiographically estimated lengths, 60% of the radiographic measurements were considered as accurate. When the acceptable difference range was 1.0 mm, the accuracy of the radiographic measurements increased to 100%. Conclusions: Digital and conventional radiography provided similar tooth length measurements and were equivalent to the actual tooth lengths.