Objective: Having detailed knowledge about the anatomical structure of mandible is important for anthropologists, forensic scientists and reconstructive surgeons. There are several imaging modalities visualizing the mandibular morphology. Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) is a developing technique that is being increasingly used in dento-maxillo-facial imaging due to its relatively low dose and high spatial resolution features. It has created a revolution in maxillofacial imaging by providing the transition of dental diagnosis from two dimensional (2D) to three dimensional (3D) images. This study was designed to evaluate mandibular notch, coronoid process, and mandibular condyle morphology by using CBCT.
Methods: The study was conducted based on archived records of CBCT images of a total of 108 patients. Configurations of coronoid process, mandibular notch and condylar process were reviewed on axial, coronal and sagittal CBCT sections. 216 (108 mandibles) coronoid processes, mandibular notches and mandibular condyles from 108 mandibles were evaluated.
Results: There was statistically significant relation between age and condyle shapes on coronal sections (p<0.001). Gender had no effect on the condyle shapes on both coronal and sagittal CBCT sections (p>0.05).
Conclusion: The data were obtained from this study can be used as anthropological markers to assess different races. CBCT can be a preferred 3D imaging method to detect possible morphological modifications on the mandibular bone and coronal CBCT sections can be useful in forensic sciences based on the influence of aging on mandibular condyle morphology.