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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2015, Article ID 939045, 5 pages
Research Article

Digital Radiography for Determination of Primary Tooth Length: In Vivo and Ex Vivo Studies

1Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Cascavel School of Dentistry, Universidade Estadual do Oeste do Paraná (UNIOESTE), Rua Universitária 2069, 85819-110 Cascavel, PR, Brazil
2Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, Araraquara School of Dentistry, Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP), Rua Humaitá 1680, 14801-903 Araraquara, SP, Brazil

Received 18 December 2014; Accepted 22 January 2015

Academic Editor: Dilsah Cogulu

Copyright © 2015 Maria D. Basso et al. 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.


Background. Methods for determining the root canal length of the primary tooth should yield accurate and reproducible results. In vitro studies show some limitations, which do not allow their findings to be directly transferred to a clinical situation. Aim. To compare the accuracy of radiographic tooth length obtained from in vivo digital radiograph with that obtained from ex vivo digital radiograph. Method. Direct digital radiographs of 20 upper primary incisors were performed in teeth (2/3 radicular resorption) that were radiographed by an intraoral sensor, according to the long-cone technique. Teeth were extracted, measured, and mounted in a resin block, and then radiographic template was used to standardise the sensor-target distance (30 cm). The apparent tooth length (APTL) was obtained from the computer screen by means of an electronic ruler accompanying the digital radiography software (CDR 2.0), whereas the actual tooth length (ACTL) was obtained by means of a digital calliper following extraction. Data were compared to the ACTL by variance analysis and Pearson’s correlation test. Results. The values for APTL obtained from in vivo radiography were slightly underestimated, whereas those values obtained from ex vivo were slightly overestimated. No significance was observed between APTL and ACTL. Conclusion. The length of primary teeth estimated by in vivo and ex vivo comparisons using digital radiography was found to be similar to the actual tooth length.