Radiographic Evaluation in the Diagnosis of Alveolar Bone Quality in Implant Rehabilitation

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This study evaluated the optical bone density of the maxilla and mandible and correlate with the classification of bone quality of the Lekholm and Zarb (L & Z). Sixty edentulous areas were evaluated. Panoramic and periapical radiographs were performed with an aluminum scale to evaluate the optical bone density. L & Z classification was also applied. By using periapical radiographs, a statistically significant difference was observed in the optical bone density of the posterior maxilla (2.38 ± 1.06) and the posterior mandible (3.84 ± 0.68), when compared to the other regions (P ≤ 0.015). However, with panoramic radiographs, no differences were observed in the optical bone density (P = 0.6322). A negative correlation was observed between the L & Z classification and the optical bone density obtained by the periapical radiographs (rho = -0.463; P < 0.001), that is, the worse the bone quality, the lower the bone density. However, there was no significant correlation with the bone density obtained by panoramic radiographs (rho = -0.009; P = 0.948). As for gender, a correlation between aging and the presence of medullary bone was observed in females, assessed by the L & Z classification (rho = 0.398; P = 0.006). However, there was a correlation between aging and a denser and less medullary presence in males, both assessed by the L & Z classification (rho = -650; P = 0.016), as well as the optical density assessed by periapical (rho = 0.621; P = 0.023) and panoramic (rho = 0.588; P = 0.035) radiographs. These results suggest that gender and age interfere with the bone quality and periapical radiographs are an acceptable method for evaluating bone density. However, a panoramic radiograph was not found to be a reliable method.



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The Journal of craniofacial surgery, v. 31, n. 6, p. 1805-1808, 2020.