Dental students’ levels of understanding normal panoramic anatomy

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Background/purpose: In dentistry, panoramic radiography is an important examination technique. The Faculty of Dentistry at Tokushima University educates students about panoramic radiographic anatomical landmarks. The purpose of this study was to investigate differences in the understanding of each panoramic anatomical landmark among students. Materials and methods: This study analyzed the results of 40 fifth- and 79 sixth-year faculty students who had taken a written examination to clarify their knowledge of anatomical landmarks in 28 panoramic radiographic regions. Anatomical landmarks were classified into 3 categories: <bone structure> <soft tissue/air layer> and <ghost images > to compare correct answer rates. Results: The mean overall correct answer rate by the 119 students for the 28 regions was 53%. The rate did not vary between the 2 academic years. On comparison of the 3 categories, significant differences were only observed between <bone structure> and <soft tissue/air layer> as the values for the latter were lower. Among the anatomical landmarks, the rates for the condylar head, hyoid bone, panoramic innominate line, styloid process, and nasopalatine line were higher, and those for ghost images of the contralateral nasopalatine line, the cervical vertebrae, mandibular foramen, mastoid air cell, and posterior pharyngeal wall were lower. The values for <soft tissue/air layer> such as the dorsum of tongue, middle and inferior nasal conche, and middle and inferior nasal meatuses, were also lower. Conclusion: These results indicate the necessity of improving educational approaches for regions with lower rates of correct answers.




Maeda, N., Hosoki, H., Yoshida, M., Suito, H., & Honda, E. (2018). Dental students’ levels of understanding normal panoramic anatomy. Journal of Dental Sciences, 13(4), 374–377.

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