Purpose: It is valuable to detect whether bone thickness measurements performed on lateral cephalograms reflect the values obtained from three-dimensional images. The present study compared lateral cephalometry and cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) for evaluating alveolar bone thickness surrounding maxillary central incisors.

Methods: The study included the records of 55 patients who had both lateral cephalograms and CBCT scans of the maxilla. In cephalograms, the alveolar bone thickness was measured at the crestal, middle, and apical levels of maxillary incisors at the buccal and lingual sides. Bone thickness was also measured at the corresponding points on CBCT images, and the data were compared by paired t-test and Wilcoxon signed rank test. The correlation between the two techniques was determined.

Results: The buccal bone thickness was significantly greater in cephalometry than CBCT at the middle and apical root areas (P < 0.05). There was no significant difference in the thickness of buccal alveolar bone at the crest, and lingual alveolar bone at all root levels between the two techniques (P < 0.05). A strong to very strong correlation was observed between the two techniques for measuring bone thickness on the palatal side (P < 0.001), but no significant correlation was found at the buccal side of the middle and apical root areas (P < 0.05).

Conclusions: Maxillary bone thickness values are overestimated in 2-dimensional as compared to 3-dimensional im-ages. Lateral cephalometry provides bone thickness measurements that are highly correlated with the actual values obtained from the CBCT examination at the palatal side, but it is not reliable for buccal bone assessments.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.