The main method for evaluation of healing processes of the jaws in oral and maxillofacial surgery are radiological diagnostics. Quantitative description is possible by measuring the relative bone density, which puts the mean grey value of a certain area in relation to the surrounding bone tissue. In this research the intra- and interindividual variability is determined for this method and a standard operation procedure is elaborated.
Therefore ten panoramic radiographs of typical surgical indications in oral a maxillofacial surgery were analyzed by three different members of the workgroup, five times each. The measurements were analyzed with descriptive and comparative statistical methods.
The mean coefficient of variation was 2.972% ± 2.361%. The measurements of defect regions were more consistent (2.252% ± 1.928%) than the measurements of surrounding bone (3.691% ± 2.626%). The analysis of variance did not show a statistically significant influence of the different raters to the measurements (ANOVA, Pr>F = 0.9462).
Following the standard operation procedure this method seems to be an easy, cheap and close to practice way to visualize healing process of the jaws. Especially in the mandibula, but also in the maxilla with special reconsideration of the sinus-region, it seems to be suitable.
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