Background: Cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) enables the radiographic examination and evaluation of osseous changes in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of various bony changes in TMJ in patients from a wide age range as well as to evaluate the CBCT findings of TMJ osteoarthritis (OA) and correlate them with age.
Material and methods: The study included the CBCT images of 150 patients (43 males and 107 females) who were refferred to the Department of Dentomaxillofacial Radiology for the evaluation of TMJs. Each TMJ was evaluated separately for the presence of any osseous changes in the condylar head or articular fossa/eminence, and for joint space narrowing.
Results: The mean age of the sample was 37.26 years (range: 10-90 years). A total of 101 (67.3%) patients presented 1 or more osseous changes. No significant differences were found between the right and left TMJs concerning the prevalence rates of osseous changes. Significant differences were found in the mean ages with regard to the absence and presence of the following findings: condylar erosion, osteophytes, loose bodies, erosion in the articular fossa, and joint space narrowing.
Conclusions: Degenerative changes in TMJ may reflect an age-related bone remodeling process. Older patients may have more common findings of OA, such as condylar and articular erosion, osteophytes, loose joint bodies, and joint space narrowing.
Keywords: cone-beam computed tomography; osteoarthritis; temporomandibular joint.