Introduction: Panoramic images are an important part of a patient’s dental and
orthodontic record. They provide broad coverage and are a valuable screening tool for
potential abnormalities and normal dental development. Dental students learn much about
panoramic image anatomy during dental school but are not usually taught a systematic
method of image interpretation. The use of an eye-tracker will allow visualization and
statistical analysis of interpretation method to find differences between newer and
experienced clinicians. Information gathered can be used to recommend an interpretation
method to newer clinicians as they begin their dental career.
Methods and Materials: Two groups of clinicians were created: ten clinicians with more
than five years clinical experience (experienced clinicians) and ten clinicians with five
years or less experience (newer clinicians). Five panoramic images, three which
contained no significant findings and two which had significant findings, were used in the
study. An eye-tracker and the eye-tracking software were used to record and evaluate the
interpretation methods to find differences between the groups.
Results: Newer clinician’s interpretation path entered more areas of pathology or
abnormality in portions of the image other than the dentition. Areas of abnormality or
pathology within the dentition were entered equally by the interpretations paths of both
groups. Newer clinicians had longer interpretation times and their interpretations
included more fixation points and covered more image area. Experienced clinicians were
quicker with interpretation and showed more of an interpretation pattern. Conclusions: Newer clinicians are more complete (interpret the entire image), have more
fixation points and spend longer time interpreting. Newer clinicians often had no pattern
to interpretation, but had interpretation paths which entered areas of pathology or
abnormality due to completeness of interpretation. Experienced clinicians showed much
more pattern (systematic approach) to interpretation, but were less complete. In both
groups, interpretations times were significantly longer when the entire image was
University of Minnesota M.S. thesis. August 2011. Major: Dentistry. Advisor: Brent Larson. 1 computer file (PDF); iv, 36 pages.
Hollevoet, Dustin Allen.
Using an eye-tracker to Measure panoramic interpretation efficiency between experienced and inexperienced clinicians..
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