Vertical Tooth Root Fracture Detection through Cone-beam Computed Tomography: An Umbrella Review Protocol Testing Four Hypotheses
Kelvin Ian Afrashtehfar1, 2, *, David MacDonald3, 4
1 Department of Oral Surgery & Stomatology, School of Dental Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Bern, Berne, Switzerland
2 Department of Oral Health Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
3 Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Faculty of Dentistry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
4 British Columbia Cancer Agency, Vancouver, Canada
Detecting vertical root fractures represents an immense challenge for oral health professionals. One of the main tools used to detect this type of biological complication is the periapical radiograph. However, conventional radiography consists of two-dimensional imaging that is limited by the superimposition of bony structures that complicate the detection of root fractures. The alternative, a Cone-Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) scan, cannot be prescribed in every case since radiation should be kept to a minimum as stipulated by the “As Low As Reasonably Achievable” (ALARA) principle. Therefore, to justify the use of a CBCT scan to detect a vertical tooth root fracture, the clinician must prove that it has significant benefits over traditional imaging. Since few systematic reviews have compared CBCT technology to traditional radiography for the diagnosis of vertical root fractures, it is of utmost importance in clinical practice, especially in endodontology and clinical dental medicine, where the available reviews are examined to generate a clinical recommendation. The four hypotheses of this protocol are that (1) CBCT is superior to traditional radiography for detecting vertical root fractures of vital teeth; (2) CBCT is superior to traditional radiography for detecting longitudinal root fractures of vital teeth with radiopaque restorations; (3) CBCT is superior to traditional radiography for detecting vertical root fractures of root-filled teeth without a radiopaque post that may cause artifacts; and (4) CBCT is superior to traditional radiography for detecting vertical root fractures of root-filled teeth with a radiopaque post regardless of its longitude. To test these hypotheses, all the current secondary resources related to the aim of this meta-review are evaluated. If there is sufficient evidence to support clinical decisions, then the appropriate recommendations will be formulated.
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