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Journal of Oral & Facial Pain and Headache



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J Orofac Pain 28 (2014), No. 4     19. Dec. 2014
J Orofac Pain 28 (2014), No. 4  (19.12.2014)

Page 331-337

Bony Deviations Revealed by Cone Beam Computed Tomography of the Temporomandibular Joint in Subjects Without Ongoing Pain
Bakke, Merete / Petersson, Arne / Wiese, Mie / Svanholt, Palle / Sonnesen, Liselotte
Aims: To assess the prevalence of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) bony changes in cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) images of adult subjects without ongoing orofacial pain or complaints from the TMJ.
Methods: The study included 84 TMJs from 28 men and 14 women (mean age [± SD]: 51 ± 11 years) without orofacial pain or TMJ complaints who were participants in a study of patients with obstructive sleep apnea. They were examined before any treatment with the Research Diagnostic Criteria for Temporomandibular Disorders and with CBCT (NewTom VGi; 15 × 15 cm, exposure time 18 seconds, axial thickness 0.3 mm). Osseous TMJ deviations were assessed blindly and classified.
Results: Degenerative changes were noted in the CBCT images of 33 (39.3%) of the TMJs, of which 21 were classified as osteoarthritic alterations and 12 as indeterminate changes of osteoarthritis. Two TMJs were clinically classified as osteoarthrosis and 6 as disc displacement with reduction. The CBCT images of the 2 TMJs with a clinical diagnosis of osteoarthrosis showed also bony changes, but the CBCT images also revealed osteoarthritic bony changes in the 18 TMJs without any clinical diagnosis.
Conclusion: CBCT images of asymptomatic adult TMJs commonly show degenerative bony alterations. Accordingly, such radiographic findings should be used with care and only as a supplement to clinical assessment.

Keywords: cone beam computed tomography, imaging, Nordic Orofacial Test-Screening, osteoarthritis, osteoarthrosis, RDC/TMD, temporomandibular joint