ISSN 1305-3825 | E-ISSN 1305-3612
Head and Neck Imaging - Original Article
Incidental findings in the maxillofacial region detected by cone beam CT
1 Department of Oral Diagnosis and Radiology Atatürk University Faculty of Dentistry, Erzurum, Turkey  
Diagn Interv Radiol 2012; 18: 159-163
DOI: 10.4261/1305-3825.DIR.4341-11.2
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Key Words: maxilla • cone beam computed tomography• diagnosis

The purpose of this study was to determine the location, nature, and occurrence of incidental maxillofacial findings on cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) scans performed for maxillofacial diagnostic purposes.


CBCT images of 207 consecutive patients (129 females and 78 males) were examined. The sample consisted of 85 temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder patients, 45 paranasal sinusitis patients, 30 obstructive sleep apnea syndrome patients, 15 implant patients, and 32 others.


The overall rate of incidental findings was 92.8%. The highest rate of incidental findings was in the airway area (51.8%), followed by impacted teeth (21.7%), TMJ findings (11.1%), endodontic lesions (4.3%), condensing osteitis (1%), and others (2.9%). The airway incidental findings included mucosal thickening (21.3%), deviation of the nasal septum (12.6%), conchal hypertrophy (11.1%), bullous concha (3.9%), and retention cysts (2.9%). The impacted teeth consisted of third molars (18.8%) and canines (2.9%). The incidental findings for the TMJ patients were erosion of the condyle (4.8%), osteophytes (3.4%), and bifid condyle (2.9%).


Oral radiologists should be aware of possible incidental findings and should be vigilant about comprehensively evaluating possible underlying diseases.

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