The use of spiral computed tomography in the localization of impacted maxillary canines

L. Preda, A. La Fianza, E. M. Di Maggio, R. Dore, M. R. Schifino, R. Campani, C. Segù, M. F. Sfondrini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To compare spiral CT with conventional radiography in planning the orthodontic treatment of impacted permanent maxillary canines. Methods: Nineteen patients with 29 malpositioned permanent maxillary canines (15 palatal and 12 buccal impactions, one ectopic and one transposition) were examined with conventional panoramic and lateral cephalometric radiography and with spiral CT (at 1 mm slice thickness, and 1 : 1 or 2 : 1 pitch) using multiplanar (MPR) and 3D reconstruction. Results: Conventional radiography failed to depict root resorption especially on the buccal surfaces of the incisor teeth. CT located impacted teeth better. Contact between impacted maxillary canines and incisor roots was demonstrated in 26 cases and root resorption in eight. MPR proved to be superior for the orientation of impacted teeth, and, in two cases, confirmed the presence of minimal root lesions for which axial images had proved inconclusive. The 3D reconstructions were useful in targeting the MPR. Conclusions: CT facilitates the treatment of impacted canine especially when the teeth are very oblique to the arch. Root resorption is better demonstrated especially on the palatal and buccal surfaces of the adjacent incisors. Spiral CT reduces examination time and risk of accidental movement, thus optimizing MPR quality. Examination at 2 : 1 pitch enables a significant reduction in radiation exposure without loss of image quality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-241
Number of pages6
JournalDentomaxillofacial Radiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • Cuspid
  • Dental
  • Radiography
  • Tomography
  • Tooth, impacted
  • X-ray computed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Dentistry(all)
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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