To compare the findings of a clinical examination with those from bitewing (BW), panoramic (Pan) and panoramic plus
bitewing (PanBW) radiographs for dental caries in children. METHOD: A population of 39 children, aged 3.8 to 11.9 years, who required
radiographs as part of their initial assessment for care in the Department of Paediatric Dentistry (Leeds), was selected. Each subject
was examined clinically for dental caries. Subsequently, a paediatric dentist and a specialist in dental radiography read the radiographs.
ANALYSIS: A database in Microsoft Access was used to compare the examiners readings for each radiographic view; agreements were
taken to be a consensus. Disagreements were re-viewed by both examiners to arrive at a consensus. Radiographic results were
compared with those of the clinical examination.
The clinical examination identified 6.0 (95 CI 4.1 to 7.8,
p<0.001) more carious surfaces than Pan. Clinical examinations also identified more carious surfaces than BW 1.2 (95 CI -0.7 to 3.2, p<0.247) and PanBW 0.6 (95 CI -1.1 to 2.3, p<0.533) but these differences were not statistically significant. When occlusal surfaces only were compared, the clinical examination identified significantly more carious occlusal surfaces then BW (15.2, p<0.001), Pan (17.1, p<0.001) and PanBW (13.5, p<0.001). Comparing the approximal surfaces only, the BW and PanBW identified significantly more carious surfaces than the clinical examination, 5.1 (p<0.001) and 4.3 (p<0.001) respectively.
The use of a clinical examination with PanBW
provided the maximum information on dental caries in the primary and mixed dentitions, particularly for approximal surfaces. This is
important in planning comprehensive dental care for children.
Vol.5 – n.4/2004
Harvard: H. C. Clark, M. E. Curzon (2004) "A prospective comparison between findings from a clinical examination and results of bitewing and panoramic radiographs for dental caries diagnosis in children", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 5(4), pp203-209. doi:
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