Cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) for diagnosis and treatment planning in periodontology: A systematic review

Quintessence Int. 2016 Jan;47(1):25-37. doi: 10.3290/j.qi.a34724.


Objective: The improvement in diagnostic accuracy and optimization of treatment planning in periodontology through the use of three-dimensional imaging with cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) is discussed controversially in the literature. The objective was to identify the best available external evidence for the indications of CBCT for periodontal diagnosis and treatment planning in specific clinical situations.

Data sources: A systematic literature search was performed for articles published by 2 March 2015 using electronic databases and hand search. Two reviewers performed the study selection, data collection, and validity assessment. PICO and PRISMA criteria were applied. From the combined search, seven studies were finally included.

Conclusion: The case series were published from the years 2009 to 2014. Five of the included publications refer to maxillary and/or mandibular molars and two to aspects related to vertical bony defects. Two studies show a high accuracy of CBCT in detecting intrabony defect morphology when compared to periapical radiographs. Particularly, in maxillary molars, CBCT provides high accuracy for detecting furcation involvement and morphology of surrounding periodontal tissues. CBCT has demonstrated advantages, when more invasive treatment approaches were considered in terms of decision making and cost benefit. Within their limits, the available data suggest that CBCT may improve diagnostic accuracy and optimize treatment planning in periodontal defects, particularly in maxillary molars with furcation involvement, and that the higher irradiation doses and cost-benefit ratio should be carefully analyzed before using CBCT for periodontal diagnosis and treatment planning.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cone-Beam Computed Tomography / methods*
  • Humans
  • Patient Care Planning
  • Periodontal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Periodontal Diseases / therapy*