BACKGROUND: Sufficient buccal bone is important for optimal esthetic results of implant treatment in the anterior region. It can be measured with cone beam computed tomography (CBCT), but background scattering and problems with standardization of the measurements are encountered. The aim was to develop a method for reliable, reproducible measurements on CBCTs.
METHODS: Using a new method, buccal bone thickness was measured on ten CBCTs at six positions along the implant axis. Inter- and intraobserver reproducibility was assessed by repeated measurements by two examiners.
RESULTS: Mean buccal bone thickness measured by observers 1 and 2 was 2.42 mm (sd: 0.50) and 2.41 mm (sd: 0.47), respectively. Interobserver intraclass correlation coefficient was 0.96 (95% CI 0.93 to 0.98). The mean buccal bone thickness of the first measurement and the second measurement of observer 1 was 2.42 mm (sd: 0.50) and 2.53 mm (sd: 0.49), respectively, with an intraobserver intraclass correlation coefficient of 0.93 (95% CI 0.88 to 0.96). The mean buccal bone thickness of the first measurement and the second measurement of observer 2 was 2.41 mm (sd: 0.47) and 2.52 mm (sd: 0.47), respectively, with an intraobserver intraclass correlation coefficient of 0.96 (95% CI 0.93 to 0.97).
CONCLUSIONS: Applying the methods used in this study, CBCTs are suitable for reliable and reproducible measurements of buccal bone thickness at implants.