Diagnostic accuracy of cone beam computed tomography for dimensional linear measurements in the mandible

Michal Halperin-sternfeld, Eli E. Machtei, Jacob Horwitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To compare linear measurements made on cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) images to direct measurements in ex vivo porcine mandibles. Materials and Methods: Six cross-sectional planes were defined by gutta-percha-filled cavities in seven mandibles. The mandibles were scanned in a CBCT apparatus and later sectioned, using a band saw, through the gutta-percha markers. Next, four direct (DIR) linear measurements were performed for each section with a handheld digital caliper, using the guttapercha markers as reference points. The corresponding radiographic (RAD) cross sections were then measured using dedicated software. A total of 168 sites were measured. Differences between RAD and DIR measurements [Δ(RAD - DIR)] were calculated for each pair individually. Results: Mean Δ(RAD - DIR) was -0.17 ± 0.53 mm (range, -1.42 to 1.09 mm). CBCT overestimated direct measurements at 36%of the sites; 8%of sites (95%confidence interval, 3.8%to 12.2%) showed errors between +0.5 and +1 mm, and 1.8%(95%confidence interval, -0.2%to 3.9%) showed errors greater than +1 mm. Conclusions: Good correlation was found between CBCT and direct measurements. However, the significant percentage of sites with overestimation of at least 0.5 mm indicates a need for safety margins to be maintained when CBCT is used to plan surgical interventions such as dental implant therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-599
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Implants
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Cone beam computed tomography
  • Dental implants
  • Dimensional measurement
  • Ex vivo
  • accuracy


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