Incidental findings in the maxillofacial area with 3-dimensional cone-beam imaging

Jung Yul Cha, James Mah, Peter Sinclair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: The purposes of this study were to evaluate the location, nature, and occurrence of incidental findings in maxillofacial structures on 3-dimensional cone-beam volumetric scans done for dental diagnostic purposes and to look for associations between these findings and symptoms in orthodontic patients. Methods: Images from 500 consecutive maxillofacial 3-dimensional scans were examined. The patient sample consisted of 252 orthodontic patients, 172 implant patients, 33 endodontic patients, 34 temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder patients, and 10 others. Results: The overall rate of incidental findings was 24.6% (123 patients of 500). The highest rate of incidental findings was in the airway area (18.2%), followed by TMJ findings (3.4%), endodontic findings (1.8%), and others (1.2%). In the orthodontic group, the incidences were airway findings, 21.4%; TMJ findings, 5.6%; and endodontic lesions, 2.3%. Only 22% of the airway findings, such as mucosal thickness, polyps, and retention cysts, were correlated with clinical signs and symptoms. Conclusions: For clinical diagnosis, the data should be interpreted with a full history of clinical signs and symptoms, and with detailed communications with radiological colleagues and other specialists to comprehensively evaluate possible underlying diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-14
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Jul

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthodontics


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