Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > How North Carolina dentists use cone beam computed tomography

Objective. With effective dose levels of three to forty-four times those of panoramic imaging, Oral & Maxillofacial Radiology professionals have the responsibility to ensure proper dental practitioner education and use of CBCT procedures. The present study surveyed dentists practicing in North Carolina who own CBCT machines, regarding their type of equipment, amount of training in CBCT technology, selection criteria for its use, as well as CBCT image interpretation abilities. Methods. The Radiation Protection Section of the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources provided a list of all dentist owners of CBCT machines in the state of North Carolina as of May 2009. Thirty-five owners were on the list at that time; they were sent a letter describing the study and requesting their participation. Three practicing Oral & Maxillofacial Radiologists (OMFRs) were also surveyed to serve as controls. Two online surveys were developed. The first survey focused on demographic information, usage of equipment and training background of the participants. The second survey presented screen views from two different volumes of patient data that the practitioners were sent for review. The participants were asked interpretation questions based on those screen views. This study was approved by the UNC Biomedical IRB as study #09-1110. Results. A total of fourteen non-OMFR practitioners as well as the three OMFRs participated in this study. None of the OMFRs used CBCT for 'routine radiographic exams' while 29% of the non-OMFRs use CBCT imaging 'more than once per day' for 'routine radiographic exams.' While all three OMFRs think that field of view (FOV) adjustment capability is 'very important,' 29% of the non-OMFRs think that FOV adjustment capability is 'not important.' The major source of non-OMFR CBCT training is an 'in office company representative.' The most common use for CBCT imaging is for dental implant treatment planning. In the interpretation section, the OMFRs correctly answered 29 of 30 total multiple choice pathology and anatomy identification questions for a 97% correct score while the non-OMFRs correctly answered 72 of 110 total questions for a 65% correct score. Conclusions. In this pilot study, it seems that the OMFRs used CBCT technology in a more reliable and clinically effective manner than did the non-OMFRs. Further study of how dentists are using CBCT in their practices is required to increase our understanding of this rapidly changing aspect of dental practice.