Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Clinical Dentistry




Tassi, A.


Introduction: Ultrasound (US) is a safe, non-invasive diagnostic method that has been used in various capacities in medicine and dentistry. Periodontal bone loss, bony dehiscence, and gingival recession have been reported as potential risks of orthodontic treatment in patients who have decreased buccal/labial bone thickness. US has the potential to aid in the diagnosis of patients at risk for these possible complications of orthodontic treatment. Purpose: To validate the use of a novel US device in the measurement of buccal cortical bone (BCB) thickness over roots in porcine mandibles. Materials and Methods: Jaw and cortical bone models were constructed and used for software and protocol refinement. Three porcine hemi-mandibles were scanned with Micro-CT (μ-CT). BCB thickness was measured with imaging software at 12 locations per specimen (n=36). BCB thickness at these locations was then assessed using a 19MHz pulse-echo US transducer. Bone thickness was determined by assessing US wave time of flight using a calibrated speed of sound (SOS) through cortical bone. Statistical analysis was done with a paired t-test, Pearson correlation, and Bland-Altman plots. Results: SOS was calibrated to 3235m/s. Mean bone thickness (+/-SD) from μ-CT was 2.06 +/- 0.76mm and 1.61 +/- 0.46mm from US. μ-CT and US thickness measurements were significantly different. Conclusion: A handheld US device showed promise in measuring BCB thickness, but some variability exists especially when measuring thicker bone. Further improvements in the device and the algorithms used are warranted to increase the accuracy of and reliability measuring cortical bone thickness overlying roots of teeth.