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Journal of Healthcare Engineering
Volume 5 (2014), Issue 4, Pages 411-428
Research Article

The Influence of Using Digital Diagnostic Information on Orthodontic Treatment Planning - A Pilot Study

A. Craig Dunbar,1,2 David Bearn,1,2 and Grant McIntyre1,2

1Department of Orthodontics, Dundee Dental Hospital, Tayside, UK
2University of Dundee, UK

Received 1 April 2014; Accepted 1 September 2014

Copyright © 2014 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The purpose of this pilot study was to assess whether orthodontic treatment planning is reproducible when carried out using digital records compared with clinical examinations or using standard records. The study also assessed patients' opinion of face-to-face consultations and potential use of teleorthodontics. The study was designed as a prospective observational cross-sectional pilot study and carried out in a UK dental teaching hospital involving 27 subjects. Four consultant Orthodontists carried out treatment planning, firstly following a clinical examination, then using standard records, and then using digital records. Each subject completed a questionnaire. Cohen's kappa coefficient and Fleiss' kappa coefficient were used to assess intra-observer reproducibility and inter-observer reproducibility of treatment planning decisions, respectively. A change in the diagnostic information format affected treatment planning reproducibility for half of the observers. Inter-observer reproducibility was greater when using hard copy records in comparison to digital records. No subjects were unsatisfied with their face-to-face consultation.