Automated assessment of adult periodontal disease by computer processing of bitewing radiographs has significant potential to be more sensitive and accurate than manual interpretation. Sophisticated image processing hardware and software, especially produced for use with image data from NASA's LANDSAT satellite remote sensing instruments, will be used to develop and refine indices for objectively and efficiently measuring periodontal disease morbidity and activity. Geometric and radiometric features sensitive to the presence of periodontal disease will be extracted from digitized bitewing radiographic images of dry skulls, cadavers, and patients for use in evolving these indices. Image features that correlate with periodontal disease activity will be extracted in a semi-automated fashion under the supervision of an expert observer. Statistical pattern recognition methodology will be used to identify and describe periodontal disease activity based on these features. Manual measurements of alveolar bone loss will be used for validation of a computer-based morbidity index. For skulls and cadavers, consensus opinion of trained observers will be used for the validation of a computerized activity index, and for patients, validation will be based on longitudinal series of standardized radiographs. The usefulness of the morbidity and activity indices for predicting alveolar bone loss will be tested, and it will be determined whether improving and deteriorating periodontal health are associated with changes in radiometric features of digitized dental images.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
First Independent Research Support & Transition (FIRST) Awards (R29)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Oral Biology and Medicine Subcommittee 1 (OBM)
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Washington University
Schools of Dentistry
Saint Louis
United States
Zip Code
Hildebolt, C F; Pilgram, T K; Yokoyama-Crothers, N et al. (1998) Reliability of linear alveolar bone loss measurements of mandibular posterior teeth from digitized bitewing radiographs. J Clin Periodontol 25:850-6
Hildebolt, C F; Brunsden, B; Yokoyama-Crothers, N et al. (1998) Comparison of reliability of manual and computer-intensive methods for radiodensity measures of alveolar bone loss. Dentomaxillofac Radiol 27:245-50
Hildebolt, C F (1997) Osteoporosis and oral bone loss. Dentomaxillofac Radiol 26:3-15
Hildebolt, C F; Pilgram, T K; Dotson, M et al. (1997) Attachment loss with postmenopausal age and smoking. J Periodontal Res 32:619-25
Shrout, M K; Hildebolt, C F; Potter, B J (1997) The effect of varying the region of interest on calculations of fractal index. Dentomaxillofac Radiol 26:295-8
Shrout, M K; Russell, C M; Potter, B J et al. (1996) Digital enhancement of radiographs: can it improve caries diagnosis? J Am Dent Assoc 127:469-73
Hildebolt, C F; Walkup, R K; Conover, G L et al. (1996) Histogram-matching and histogram-flattening contrast correction methods: a comparison. Dentomaxillofac Radiol 25:42-7
Shrout, M K; Zebell, R M; Potter, B J et al. (1995) Intrafilm controls to standardize grey level variations in digitized radiographs. Dentomaxillofac Radiol 24:221-4
Conover, G L; Hildebolt, C F; Anthony, D (1995) A comparison of six intra-oral X-ray films. Dentomaxillofac Radiol 24:169-72
Conover, G L; Hildebolt, C F; Anthony, D (1995) Objective and subjective evaluations of Kodak Ektaspeed Plus dental x-ray film. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod 79:246-50

Showing the most recent 10 out of 28 publications