Histological sectioning is a generally accepted in vitro validation method for caries detection techniques. However, it requires cumbersome sample preparation and induces irreversible sample destruction. Micro-Computer Tomography (micro-CT) allows non-destructive imaging of tooth structure. The aim of this study was to compare the performance of histological sectioning and micro-CT imaging in detecting approximal carious lesions. Unlike previous studies, evaluation is objectified by comparing visual appearance of exactly corresponding anatomical regions. Sixty extracted human teeth were scanned with a desktop micro CT system. Axial histological slices were prepared and photographed. Sample preparation, combined with dedicated image processing, ensured selection of identical anatomical regions on radiographic and histological images. Evaluation of the presence and extent of carious lesions was performed by four dentists using custom-designed software. Each section was scored independently (histo or micro CT). Scores of approximal surfaces were retained for further analysis. Spearman's correlation coefficients (0.738 to 0.829, p < 0.0001) showed a good agreement between signs of carious lesions in the identical region obtained with both methods. Bland-Altman plots showed that 90.76% of the data points were within the limits of agreement. Micro-CT imaging was shown to provide an interesting alternative to histological sectioning as detection method for carious lesions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6680
Pages (from-to)6680
Number of pages9
JournalScientific Reports - Nature
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2017
Event81st General Session of the International Association for Dental Research -
Duration: 25 Jun 200329 Jun 2003

    Research areas

  • dental caries, reference standards, Micro-CT, bland-altman plot, detection and diagnosis, Histology

ID: 32637546