Assessing joint space and condylar position in the people with normal function of temporomandibular joint with cone-beam computed tomography

Zahra Dalili, Nasim Khaki, Seyed Javad Kia, Fatemeh Salamat


Background: The optimal position of the condyle in glenoid fossa is a fundamental question in dentistry. There is no quantitative standard for the optimal position of mandibular condyle in the glenoid fossa in our population. The purpose of this study is to assess the position of the condyle by cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) images in patient with normal function of temporomandibular joint (TMJ).

Materials and Methods: In this cross-sectional study, CBCT images of 40 class I skeletal patients (15 males and 25 females) without history of TMJ disorders were selected. Next, the anterior, superior and posterior joint spaces (Ajs, Sjs, Pjs) were measured on the two true central sagittal slices. Then medial (M) and lateral (L) joint spaces on true coronal view were measured in the right and left sides, separately. After that, P/A ratio, S/A ratio and M/L ratio were calculated. Finally, a paired t-test and independent samples t-test were employed for analysis.

Results: The centric position of the condyle in glenoid fossa was more common (92.5%) than other positions. Signifi cant differences in Ajs, Sjs, Pjs, Mjs and Ljs values between two sides were observed (P ≤ 0.05). Additionally, Sjs showed statistically signifi cant differences between the sexes (P = 0.05). P/A ratio and S/A ratio had signifi cant differences between two sides but not between those sexes.

Conclusion: The assessment of joint spaces in right and left sides should be done independently. Overall, the measured joint spaces except Sjs are not different in two sexes. The data from this study could be a useful and comparable reference for the clinical assessment of condylar position in patients with normal functional joints.

Key Words: Cone beam CT, mandibular condyle, temporomandibular joint

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