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16.09.2015 | Original Article | Ausgabe 5/2016

Clinical Oral Investigations 5/2016

Cone-beam computed tomography in pediatric dentistry, a retrospective observational study

Clinical Oral Investigations > Ausgabe 5/2016
Jakob W. G. Van Acker, Luc C. Martens, Johan K. M. Aps



The aim of this study was to find the reasons for referral and their correlation with age, gender, field of view, and resolution for all patients under the age of 18 who underwent a cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) scan between 1 May 2010 and 1 May 2012 in the dental out-patient clinic of the University Hospital Ghent.

Material and methods

From the local CBCT database, 79 pediatric patients gave their consent. Subsequently age, gender, reason for referral, external or internal referral, field of view (FOV), and resolution data were collected. Descriptive and comparative statistical analysis was performed.


There seemed to be a correlation between orthodontic referrals and female patients. The majority of patients referred for trauma follow-up were 12 years and older. Fourteen percent of referrals were for dento-alveolar trauma, 18 % for other dento-alveolar reasons, 4 % for developing dentition-generalized, 36 % for developing dentition-localized, 10 % for endodontics, 1 % for periodontics, 16 % for surgical applications, and 1 % was for the visualization of the TMJ.
Eighty percent of the CBCTs were taken at a FOV 50 × 55 mm. Larger FOV was used for surgical planning or follow-up reasons. The majority of the CBCTs was taken at a resolution of 200 μm, while a resolution of 150 μm was used for endodontic issues. From these results, a classification system for referral was developed.


From the present study, it can be concluded that a referral pattern could be detected which was correlated with gender, age group, FOV, and resolution. These results can help practitioners make the decision to refer for CBCT when extra three dimensional imaging is expected to have a benefit in therapeutic value for a pediatric or adolescent patient.

Clinical relevance

This study can guide dental professionals referring pediatric and adolescent patients for CBCT.

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