Background/purpose: To evaluate the measurement accuracy of hard-tissue thicknesses adjacent to dental implants with different thread designs on images obtained from cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) using an in vitro model. Materials and methods: On 4 × 13-mm implant, the neck of the implant was designed with micro-threads, and the apical part was covered by macro-threads; these implants were placed in a vinyl polysiloxane block that mimicked hard-tissue. Models were prepared with various thicknesses of 2.0, 1.0, 0.5 and 0.3 mm adjacent to the dental implant. Each model was scanned using CBCT, and the thickness of the cortical bone from the outer surface of the micro-threads and macro-threads were recorded. Ground sections were prepared, and the thickness was measured with electronic calipers as the gold standard (GS) measurement. Results: CBCT measurements of the micro-thread surface were consistently underestimated compared to the GS measurement when the thickness of the hard-tissue-mimicking material was ≤1.0 mm. In comparison, CBCT measurements of the macro-thread surface closely approximated the standard measurement, except when the thickness of the hard-tissue-mimicking material was 0.3 mm. The mean percentage errors from the standard measurement for the 2.0-, 1.0-, 0.5-, and 0.3-mm thickness groups were 4.8%, 16.4%, 37.8%, and 92.6%, respectively, for the micro-thread group, and were 0.6%, 2.9%, 9.5%, and 40.8%, respectively, for the macro-thread group. Conclusion: Within the limitations of this study, we conclude that CBCT may not produce sufficient resolution for thin sections of hard tissue-mimicking materials adjacent to micro-thread surfaces.
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