Edition V15N05 | Year 2010 | Editorial Article | Pages 172 to 181
Introduction: Cone-Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) imaging provides an excellent representation of the temporomandibular joint bone tissues. Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate morphological changes of the mandibular condyle from childhood to adulthood using CBCT. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in 36 condyles of 18 subjects from 3 to 20 years of age. Condyles were scanned with the i-CAT Cone-Beam 3D imaging system and linear dimensions were measured with a specific i-CAT software function for temporomandibular joint, which permitted slices perpendicular to the condylar head, with individual correction in function of angular differences for each condyle. The greatest distances in lateral and frontal sections were considered on both left and right mandibular condyles. Results: The linear dimension of the mandibular condyle on the lateral section varied little with growth and seemed to be established early, while the dimension of the frontal section increased. Small asymmetries between left and right condyles were common but without statistical significance for both lateral (P=0.815) and frontal (P=0.374) dimensions. Conclusions: The condyles were symmetric in size and only the frontal dimension enlarged during growth. These preliminary data suggest that CBCT is a useful tool to measure and evaluate the condylar dimensions.