Digital subtraction radiography in artificial recurrent caries detection

P. V. Nummikoski, T. S. Martinez, S. R. Matteson, W. D. McDavid, S. B. Dove

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


The diagnostic accuracy of digital subtraction radiography in detection of artificial recurrent caries lesions was assessed in this project. The use of digital subtraction radiography has been shown to markedly increase the accuracy of the detection of destruction in the periodontal bone, but the method has not been evaluated in secondary caries detection. Defects of three different sizes, simulating recurrent caries, were sequentially prepared in the interproximal cavity preparation margins of 28 teeth. Two composite restorative materials with different radiographic densities were used as posterior restorations, and a radiograph was obtained of each defect size and restorative material. The radiographs were digitized and subtracted from the reference images, and the conventional radiographs and the subtraction images were evaluated by seven observers. The data were analysed with ROC statistics. Subtraction radiography was found to be superior to conventional radiography in recurrent caries detection, mainly by reducing the false-positive diagnoses. The radiopacity of the restorative material had a significant effect on accuracy with conventional but not with subtraction radiography.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-64
Number of pages6
JournalDentomaxillofacial Radiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1992


  • Radiography
  • dental caries
  • dental restoration, permanent
  • subtraction technic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Dentistry(all)


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