Objective The aim of this study was to compare the trabecular bone microstructures of anterior and posterior edentulous regions of human mandible using cone-beam CT (CBCT) and micro CT (µCT).
Materials and methods Twenty volumes of interests consisting of six anterior and fourteen posterior edentulous regions were obtained from human mandibular cadavers. A CBCT system with a resolution of 80 µm (3D Accuitomo 170, J. Morita, Kyoto, Japan) and a µCT system with a resolution of 35 µm (SkyScan 1173, Kontich, Belgium) were used to scan the mandibles. Three structural parameters namely, trabecular number (Tb.N), trabecular thickness (Tb.Th), and trabecular separation (Tb.Sp) were analysed using CTAn software (v 1.11, SkyScan, Kontich, Belgium). For each system, the measurements obtained from anterior and posterior regions were tested using independent sample t-test. Subsequently, all measurements between systems were tested using paired t-test.
Results In CBCT, all parameters of the anterior and posterior mandible showed no significant differences (p > 0.05). However, µCT showed a significant different of Tb.Th (p = 0.023) between anterior and posterior region. Regardless of regions, the measurements obtained using both imaging systems were significantly different (p ≤ 0.021) for Tb.Th and Tb.N.
Conclusions The current study demonstrated that only the variation of Tb.Th between anterior and posterior edentulous region of mandible can be detected using micro CT. In addition, CBCT is less feasible than micro CT in assessing trabecular bone microstructures at both regions.