Morphometric evaluation of the temporomandibular joint on cone-beam computed tomography

Surg Radiol Anat. 2021 Jun;43(6):975-996. doi: 10.1007/s00276-020-02617-1. Epub 2020 Nov 22.


Introduction: Evaluation of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pathologies with cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) provides essential information about the bone structures of the TMJ. It is important to know the normal reference range when defining these pathologies. The aim of this study is to examine the morphometric and morphologic analyses of the bone structures of TMJ on the CBCT images in detail according to age, gender, and joint side.

Material and methods: A total of 35 parameters related to the condylar process, articular tubercle, mandibular fossa, ramus of mandible, and joint space were examined on the CBCT images. These parameters were compared with the joint sides and gender, and correlated with age.

Results: Thirty-five parameters were evaluated. A statistically significant difference was found between genders in 22 parameters and joint sides in 6 parameters. When the correlation of parameters with age was examined; it was found that there was a very weak positive relationship in nine parameters, a weak positive relationship in one parameter, and a very weak relationship in the negative direction in two parameters.

Conclusion: In this study, the condylar process, articular tubercle, mandibular fossa, ramus of mandible, and joint spaces, which are usually examined separately in the literature, were examined, and the normal reference range was determined for all these parameters. We think that these normal reference ranges will be useful for researchers interested in TMJ pathologies.

Keywords: Cone-beam computed tomography; Morphometry; Temporomandibular joint.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Cone-Beam Computed Tomography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reference Values
  • Sex Factors
  • Temporomandibular Joint / anatomy & histology*
  • Temporomandibular Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Young Adult