Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Oral Biology

Committee Chair

Farman, Allan G.


Three-dimensional imaging in medicine; Diagnostic imaging; Dental care


CBCT in endodontics demonstrates anatomic features in 3D that intraoral, panoramic, and cephalometric images cannot. CBCT units reconstruct the projection data to provide interrelational images in three orthogonal planes (axial, sagittal, and coronal). In addition because reconstruction of CBCT data is performed natively using a personal computer, data can be reoriented in their true spatial relationships. Aims: To investigate accurate detection of the correct number of root canals in the mesio-buccal root of the maxillary molar teeth using 3D imaging with cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) at different spatial resolution (isotropic voxel) settings. Methods: With IRB approval, 31 extracted maxillary molars were examined using high resolution, small field of view CBCT at isotropic voxel resolutions ranging at 0.076, 0.10 and 0.20 mm. The image data sets were imported into third party segmentation software to provide 3D videos for 8 observers to determine the number of mesio-buccal root canals in cross-sectional reconstructions. The ground truth was later established by sectioning the tooth roots axially. Results: Twenty-four of the teeth proved on sectioning to have two mesio-buccal canals whereas the others had one canal. Accuracy in detection of mesio-buccal canals varied between observers from 59% to 75% and statistically unrelated to observer experience. No statistical differences were found between the reconstructed 3D images regarding accurate detection of canals. Conclusions: CBCT outperformed the findings for accuracy in detection of mesio-buccal root canals in all previous studies using 2D imaging modalities and Tuned Aperture Computed Tomography. Keywords: Computed Tomography, X-ray, Cone-Beam; Endodontics; Image processing.