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Comparison of digital dental images yielded by digital dental casts, cone-beam computed tomography, and multislice computed tomography for measurement of dental area

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We investigated and compared the errors generated by multislice computed tomography (MSCT), cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT), and digital dental casts when used to provide digital data about dental structures.


Ten A20 skull models were scanned with MSCT and CBCT, and dental plaster cast models were optically scanned in three dimensions. The maxillary dental area was then compared. The distance between the three-dimensional scan data of the skull and each set of digital dental data were measured. Reference data were then overlapped with the experimental digital model using surface-based registration. The distance of errors was measured with the shortest distance measurement function. The distances between each experimental digital model and the reference scan data were measured, and error values were determined for all maxillary teeth and each tooth surface area. Errors were measured for all teeth from the central incisors to the second molar on both the left and right sides. Errors were measured from the mesial, distal, and labial surfaces and the tooth cusp tip area for each tooth.


The digital dental casts had the smallest error (p < 0.001). The error in the digital dental casts (mean ± standard deviation) was 0.10 ± 0.12 mm. The CBCT error was 0.34 ± 0.38 mm, which was significantly greater than the MSCT error (0.19 ± 0.16 mm) (p < 0.001).


We recommend the use of digital dental casts with digital dental imaging for three-dimensional measurement of the dental area because this technique had the smallest errors.

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Correspondence to Sang-Hoon Kang.

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Sang-Hoon Kang, Yeon-Ho Kim, and Moon-Key Kim declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1964 and later versions. Informed consent was not needed in the study.

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Kang, SH., Kim, YH. & Kim, MK. Comparison of digital dental images yielded by digital dental casts, cone-beam computed tomography, and multislice computed tomography for measurement of dental area. Oral Radiol 33, 23–31 (2017).

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