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A Journal on Dentistry and Maxillofacial Surgery

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Odontostomatology and Maxillofacial Surgery
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Minerva Stomatologica 1999 June;48(6):247-56

language: English, Italian

Radiographic evaluation of alveolar bone height in HIV-positive patients

Guarnelli M. E., Trombelli L., Calura G.


Background. This prospective case-control study was performed to assess alveolar bone height in HIV-positive and HIV-negative patients.
Methods. Twenty-three HIV-positive patients, 16 men and 7 women, aged 24 to 40 years (mean age: 33 years), consecutively referred to the Dental Clinic, University of Ferrara, for clinical and radiographic assessment of oral conditions, were included in the study (test group). All patients had undergone laboratory evaluation to assess HIV-infection status and were classified according to CDC diagnostic criteria. Nineteen patients were intravenous drug abusers. Thirty-four HIV-negative subjects were matched for demographic characteristics and smoking status as a control group. Radiographic evaluation was based on panoramic radiography and bone measurements were limited to premolars and molars. Alveolar bone height was measured mesially and distally to each tooth and determined as the distance from the apex of the root to a point where the lamina dura became continuous with the compact bone of the interdental septum. Alveolar bone height was recorded as well as the ratio between alveolar bone height and tooth length.
Results. The results indicated a tendency for a difference in alveolar bone height between groups, lower in the test group compared to controls. However, this difference only reached statistical significance on a tooth-specific basis.
Conclusions. In conclusion, the results show a greater trend for alveolar bone loss of posterior teeth in HIV-positive patients compared to HIV-negative patients.

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