Document Type


Original Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Dental Education





First Page


Last Page


Date of Submission

March 2015


Accurate and consistent radiographic interpretation among clinical instructors is needed for assessment of teaching, student performance, and patient care. The purpose of this investigation was to determine if the method of radiographic viewing affects accuracy and consistency of instructors’ determinations of bone loss. Forty-one clinicians who provide instruction in a dental school clinical teaching program (including periodontists, general dentists, periodontal graduate students, and dental hygienists) quantified bone loss for up to twenty-five teeth into four descriptive categories using a view box for plain film viewing or a projection system for digitized image viewing. Ratings were compared to the correct category as determined by direct measurement using the Schei ruler. Agreement with the correct choice for the view box and projection system was 70.2 percent and 64.5 percent, respectively. The mean difference was better for a projection system due to small rater error by graduate students. Projection system ratings were slightly less consistent than view box ratings. Dental hygiene faculty ratings were the most consistent but least accurate. Although the projection system resulted in slightly reduced accuracy and consistency among instructors, training sessions utilizing a single method for projecting digitized radiographic images have their advantages and may positively influence dental education and patient care by enhancing accuracy and consistency of radiographic interpretation among instructors.


Reprinted by permission of Journal of Dental Education, Volume 70, 2 (February 2006). Copyright 2006 by the American Dental Education Association.

Is Part Of

VCU Periodontics Publications