Background: In primary teeth, working length determination is complicated due to its continuous alteration in dimension, shape, and root apex position. Accurate working length determination is essential to achieve the optimal cleaning and disinfection of the canal. Despite the use of conventional radiographic method, newer methods are available to increase the accuracy of WL determination. This study aims to compare electronic apex locator (EAL) with radiographic method of WL determination and to evaluate its accuracy using cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT).
Materials and methods: Sixty root canals from 34 extracted primary teeth were included. Occlusal surfaces were flattened and access opening done for all the samples. Teeth were subjected to working length determination by conventional radiograph and EAL. Samples were then mounted on a U-shaped wax and subjected to CBCT. Results were recorded and statistically analyzed using ANOVA and ICC for quantitative data.
Result: The mean measurement of radiographic, EAL and CBCT methods are 11.708, 11.200, and 10.895, respectively. Mean measurements demonstrated significant difference (p < 0.05) between three methods. ICC demonstrated high correlation between EAL and CBCT with Cronbach's α value of 0.962 and moderate correlation were observed between radiographic method and CBCT (0.706) and EAL and radiographic method (0.763). EAL demonstrated 87% accuracy whereas radiographic method demonstrated 63% accuracy to the actual length as evaluated by CBCT.
Conclusion: EAL is more accurate than conventional radiographic method as evaluated by CBCT.
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