Computed tomography (CT) has been recognized as a robust and dependable technique for delineating osseous alterations and anomalies within hard tissues. The necessity for accurate diagnosis and management of patients with temporomandibular disorders in dental practices has increasingly come to the forefront. There is ongoing scholarly debate regarding the equivalence of diagnostic outcomes yielded by cone beam computed tomography (CBCT), which offers greater accessibility in dental settings than traditional CT, in identifying bony changes within the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Our principal aim was to conduct a systematic review of studies that compare the efficacy of CT and CBCT in the detailed assessment of bone conditions affecting the TMJ. An electronic search was conducted across databases: PubMed, Medline, Web of Science, Cochrane and Scopus. Two independent reviewers screened titles and abstracts against predefined inclusion criteria. The included articles underwent rigorous critical appraisal, during which relevant data were extracted and systematically presented in a tabular format. This systematic review incorporates 5 studies published between 2006 and 2015. In 3 studies, CBCT demonstrated comparable outcomes to CT, while 2 investigations revealed significantly enhanced accuracy for CBCT compared to CT, with reported accuracies of 0.95 ± 0.04, 0.77 ± 0.17, and 89-91% for CBCT. The aggregated evidence from the included studies indicates that CBCT offers comparable or superior accuracy in detecting osseous changes within TMJ structures. Owing to its lower radiation exposure and increased accessibility, CBCT emerges as the preferred choice over conventional CT for evaluating bony structures of the TMJ.
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