Recognition of root canal orifices at a distance - a preliminary study of teledentistry

J Telemed Telecare. 2011;17(3):154-7. doi: 10.1258/jtt.2010.100507. Epub 2011 Feb 21.


The remote recognition of root canal orifices was tested on 50 images of endodontically accessed teeth acquired with an intra-oral camera. The images were stored on a laptop computer and were presented to 20 observers who marked the visible canal orifices using software which stored the canal locations in standard files. The marked positions were verified on histological slices. In 87% of the cases, the canal locations were marked correctly. Inter-observer reliability depended on the location of the reviewed root canal (kappa = 0.44-0.77). The detection rate was related to the professional experience of the observers. The maximum proportion of accurate detections was found for the observers with more than 10 years of professional experience. The minimum proportion of accurate detections, 79%, was by the observer with one year of experience. The results of the study suggest that remote recognition of root canals by experienced dentists can help younger colleagues in the detection of root canal orifices.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Clinical Competence
  • Dental Pulp Cavity / anatomy & histology*
  • Dentistry / methods*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Molar
  • Observer Variation
  • Telemedicine / statistics & numerical data*
  • Tooth Diseases / diagnosis*