J Korean Acad Oral Maxillofac Radiol.  1999 Feb;29(1):275-282.

Comparison of the clinical examination with the panoramic radiography in the diagnosis of dental caries

  • 1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, College of Dentistry, Seoul National University, Korea.


PURPOSE: The objective of this study was to compare clinical examination of of dental caries and secondary caries with panoramic examination, and to examine bone lesions and dental anomaly of unerupted state.
In this study, clinical records and panoramic radiographs were available for 89 first grade students in elementary school. Dental caries of occlusal surfaces, proximal surfaces, and buccolingual surfaces were examined . Secondary caries was examined too. In addition, the central lesion and dental anomaly of unerupted state were examined in panoramic radiographs.
The obtained results were as followed : 1. Carious detectability of clinical examination in occlusal and buccolingual surface was higher than that of panoramic examination, but it is statistically insignificant(p>0.05). In proximal surface, carious detectability of panoramic examination was higher than that of clinical examination, and it is statistically significant(p<0.01). 2. In contrast to clinical examination only, when the two examination methods were combined, there was additional detection of dental caries(26.7% in occlusal surface, 48.2% in proximal surface, 33.3% in buccolingual surface, and 38.3% totally). 3. In detection of secondary caries, panoramic examination had lower ability than clinical examination in all three surfaces, but in case that both methods were combined, totally 36.0% extra carious lesions were detected. 4. In panoramic examination, detectability of secodary caries in upper teeth is lower than lower teeth. 5. In panoramic examination, it was possible to detect the central lesions and dental anomalies of unerupted state which cannot be detected in clinical examination.
It is useful to combine the panoramic examination with clinical examination in order to increase carious detectability and to evaluate the central lesions and dental anomalies of unerupted state


caries; clinical examination; panoramic radiography
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