The objective of this study was to evaluate density changes around the apices of teeth during orthodontic treatment by using digital subtraction radiography to measure the densities around six teeth (maxilla central incisors, lateral incisors, and canines) before and after orthodontic treatment in 36 patients and also assess treatment variables and their coorelation with root resorption.
Materials and methods
A total of 36 consecutive patient files were selected initially. The selected patients presented with a class I or II relationship and were treated with or without premolar extractions and fixed appliances. Some class II patients were treated additionally with extraoral forces or functional appliances. External apical root resorption (EARR) per tooth in millimeters was calculated and was also expressed as a percentage of the original root length. Image reconstruction and subtraction were performed using the software Regeemy Image Registration and Mosaicing (version 0.2.43-RCB, DPI-INPE, São José dos Campos, São Paulo, Brazil) by a single operator. A region of interest (ROI) was defined in the apical third of the root and density calibration was made in Image J® using enamel (gray value = 255) as reference in the same image. The mean gray values in the ROIs were reflective of the change in the density values between the two images.
The root resorption of the tooth and the factors of malocclusion were analyzed with a one-way ANOVA. An independent t-test was performed to compare the mean amount of resorption between male and female, between extraction and nonextraction cases. The density changes after orthodontic treatment were analyzed using the Wilcoxon signedrank test. In addition, the density changes in different teeth were analyzed using the Kruskal-Wallis test. The cut-off for statistical significance was a p-value of 0.05. All the statistical analyses were carried out using SPSS (version 13.0 for Windows, Chicago, IL, USA).
Gender, the age at which treatment was started and Angle's classification was not statistically related with observed root resorption. The mean percentage density reduction as assessed by DSR was greatest in both central incisor: by 27.2 and 25.2% in the upper-right and upper-left central incisors, respectively, followed by the upper-right and upper-left canine teeth (23.5 and 21.0%) and then the upper-right and upper-left lateral incisors (19.1 and 17.4%).
Tooth extraction prior to treatment initiation and the duration of orthodontic treatment was positively correlated with the amount of root resorption. DSR is useful for evaluating density changes around teeth during orthodontic treatment. The density around the apices of teeth reduced significantly after the application of orthodontic forces during treatment.
Assessment of density changes on treatment radiographs of patients undergoing orthodontic therapy may help in the monitoring of external apical root resorption during course of treatment.
How to cite this article
Sunku R, Roopesh R, Kancherla P, Perumalla KK, Yudhistar PV, Reddy VS. Quantitative Digital Subtraction Radiography in the Assessment of External Apical Root Resorption Induced by Orthodontic Therapy: A Retrospective Study. J Contemp Dent Pract 2011;12(6):422-428.