Measuring cortical thickness on panoramic radiographs: A validation study of the Mental Index

Vinicius Dutra, Cristiano Susin, Nilza Pereira da Costa, Elaine Bauer Veeck, Alexandre Bahlis, Artur da Rocha Correa Fernandes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Objectives: To validate the Mental Index assessment obtained from panoramic radiographs. Study design: Ten dried mandibles were selected, and standardized panoramic radiographs were obtained. The specimens were then perpendicularly sectioned at the mental foramen region, and the inferior mandibular cortical thickness was recorded using a digital caliper. Measurements of panoramic radiographs were compared with the dried mandibles. Four observers carried out twice the measurements for the panoramic radiographs. Two observers performed twice the measurements of the dried mandibles. Reliability was assessed by duplicate measurements. Results: Agreement between the actual mandible measurements and the radiographic assessment was moderate for the noncorrected measurements. Agreement between anatomic and radiographic measurements improved remarkably after standard correction for magnification. Conclusions: Bone status reports based on measuring cortical thickness of the lower border of the mandible at the mental foramen based on panoramic radiographs, i.e., Mental Index, are accurate. Compensation for magnification, however, is necessary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)686-691
Number of pages6
JournalOral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology and Endodontology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Dentistry(all)


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