ABSTRACT

Objective

To investigate the value-addition of obtaining lateral cephalometric radiographs during the treatment planning phase of orthodontic treatment.

Materials and Methods

The records of 100 orthodontic patients were presented to seven scorers during two phases that were 6 weeks apart. In the first phase, scorers completed a seven-question survey with questions regarding treatment planning. They were given various diagnostic records that did not include a lateral cephalometric radiograph. Six weeks later, the same scorers completed the same survey for the same patient cases with the same diagnostic records that additionally included a lateral cephalometric radiograph. Correlation coefficients were used to calculate intrarater agreement and inter-rater agreement within the study.

Results

Cohen's kappa values showed moderate to almost perfect agreement for the majority of survey questions. Intrarater agreement ranged between 0.430 and 1. Cronbach's alpha reliability statistics showed good interrater agreement for all questions in the survey. Agreement ranged from 0.710 to 0.913 across the survey questions. Diagnosing Angle classification of occlusion had the highest level of agreement and differentiating between skeletal and dental malocclusion had the lowest level of agreement.

Conclusions

The lateral cephalometric radiograph is not a necessary diagnostic tool for most cases in orthodontic diagnosis and treatment planning. Weighing the usefulness of a lateral cephalometric on a case-by-case basis should be recommended to align with the principle of ALARA (as low as reasonably achievable), especially in a primarily pediatric population.

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Author notes

a

Dental Student, University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine, Farmington, Connecticut, USA.

b

Resident, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine, Farmington, Connecticut, USA.

c

Professor, Department of Orthodontics, University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine, Farmington, Connecticut, USA.

d

Professor, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine, Farmington, Connecticut, USA.