Critical Summary from American Dental Association Centre for Evidence-based Dentistry – March 2013

shutterstock_63657280 - Panoramic x-ray machine

This ADA critical summary looks at a 2012 review by van Vlijmen et al  of the evidence to support the use of cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) in orthodontics

The reviewer highlights the extensive range of databases searched for the use of CBCT for orthodontic purposes.  There was also an independent assessment of study quality. The 50 studies included a wide range of topics related to orthodontic management.  The reviewer noted that the results section only included details of the authors’ methodological scores rather than the actual study results.   It was felt that the discussion was more consistent with a narrative rather than a systematic review.

Overall the reviewer noted that despite its limitations a lack of high quality evidence to support the use of CBCT in was demonstrated.

The review also noted the European guidelines on the CBCT use, which we have noted previously (Dental Elf 29th Jan 2013). The ADA also have an advisory statement of the use of CBCT ( Dental Elf 8th Aug 2012)


ADA-EBD – Lack of quality evidence regarding the benefits of cone-beam computed tomography in orthodontics

van Vlijmen OJ, Kuijpers MA, Bergé SJ, Schols JG, Maal TJ, Breuning H, Kuijpers-Jagtman AM. Evidence supporting the use of cone-beam computed tomography in orthodontics. J Am Dent Assoc. 2012 Mar;143(3):241-52. Review. PubMed PMID: 22383204.

Dental Elf  29th Jan 2013  Evidence-based Guidelines for cone beam CT for dental and maxillo-facial radiology

Dental Elf 8th Aug 2012 – ADA advisory statement on the use of CBCT in dentistry

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Derek Richards

Derek Richards is a specialist in dental public health, Director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Dentistry and Specialist Advisor to the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP) Development Team. A former editor of the Evidence-Based Dentistry Journal and chief blogger for the Dental Elf website until December 2023. Derek has been involved with a wide range of evidence-based initiatives both nationally and internationally since 1994. Derek retired from the NHS in 2019 remaining as a part-time senior lecturer at Dundee Dental School until the end of 2023.

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