Introduction: Ameloblastomas and keratocysts are the most frequent epithelial odontogenic tumors of the jaws. They have a high recurrence rate. This retrospective study reviews the features of ameloblastomas operated on in our unit from 1994 to 2007.
Patients and methods: The studied parameters were sex, ethnic origin, age at diagnosis, clinical signs, radiographic presentation, site distribution, histological type, treatment, and follow-up records.
Results: One hundred and sixteen patients were included (with 239 surgical samples). The mean age was 36 years, with a majority of Europeans, 60% of multilocular radiolucent lesions with root resorption, mandibular location (93%). Twenty-one percent of the patients presented with an impacted tooth, the third molar in 79% of cases. Fifty percent of the lesions were from 5 to 13cm in length, 10% longer than 13cm. The most common histological type was follicular ameloblastoma. Patients were treated by enucleation in 82% of cases and radical mandibular resection with reconstruction in 11% of cases. The follow-up was documented for 96% of the patients with a 44% recurrence rate. Seventy-four percent of patients with a double recurrence presented with a "follicular" ameloblastoma.
Discussion: We prefer a well-performed enucleation which preserves surrounding bone. The high rate of follicular type recurrence should more systematically lead to a combined treatment: periostectomy and tooth extraction. Our data was compared with previously published large series.
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