Digital enhancements fails to improve radiographic detection of dental calculus: Study

Published On 2021-11-22 03:30 GMT   |   Update On 2021-11-22 03:30 GMT

Digital enhancements are not tied with radiographic detection of dental calculus, according to a study published in the Journal of Periodontology.

The aim of this study was to determine if image enhancement improves a clinician's ability to identify the presence of calculus on digital radiographs.

Seventy-one hopeless teeth were collected from 34 patients. Teeth were stained with 1% methylene blue, the largest interproximal calculus deposit was scored, and photographs of each interproximal root surface were taken. The surface area of the calculus deposit was determined as a percentage of the total interproximal root surface area. Digital radiographs of teeth taken before extraction were modified using the following enhancements: auto-contrast, emboss, invert, and sharpen. The radiographic presence of calculus was determined by two examiners. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV) were calculated for each examiner and enhancement. A receiver operating characteristic curve was used to compare differences between the image enhancements in the detection of dental calculus. The kappa statistic was used to compare ratings between examiners.

The Results of the study are as follows:

None of the enhanced images was statistically superior to original images in identifying radiographic calculus (P > 0.05). The average sensitivity of digital radiography was 50%, average specificity was 82.2%, PPV was 94%, and NPV 23.2%. A threshold of >30% of interproximal root surface covered with calculus and increasing size of deposits were associated with improved detection (P < 0.05).

Thus, the researchers concluded that digital enhancements do not significantly improve radiographic detection of dental calculus. As an area of calculus on the root surface and size of calculus deposits increased, the sensitivity of detection also increased.


A study named, "Accuracy of dental calculus detection using digital radiography and image manipulation" by Jenna C. Hyer et al. published in the Journal of Periodontology.

Article Source : Journal of Periodontology.

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