Differences in mandibular condyle and glenoid fossa morphology in relation to vertical and sagittal skeletal patterns: A cone-beam computed tomography study

Korean J Orthod. 2021 Mar 25;51(2):126-134. doi: 10.4041/kjod.2021.51.2.126.


Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the following null hypothesis: there are no differences in the morphology of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) structures in relation to vertical and sagittal cephalometric patterns.

Methods: This retrospective study was performed with 131 participants showing no TMJ symptoms. The participants were divided into Class I, II, and III groups on the basis of their sagittal cephalometric relationships and into hyperdivergent, normodivergent, and hypodivergent groups on the basis of their vertical cephalometric relationships. The following measurements were performed using cone-beam computed tomography images and compared among the groups: condylar volume, condylar size (width, length, and height), fossa size (length and height), and condyle-to-fossa joint spaces at the anterior, superior, and posterior condylar poles.

Results: The null hypothesis was rejected. The Class III group showed larger values for condylar width, condylar height, and fossa height than the Class II group (p < 0.05). Condylar volume and superior joint space in the hyperdivergent group were significantly smaller than those in the other two vertical groups (p < 0.001), whereas fossa length and height were significantly larger in the hyperdivergent group than in the other groups (p < 0.01). The hypodivergent group showed a greater condylar width than the hyperdivergent group (p < 0.01). The sagittal and vertical cephalometric patterns showed statistically significant interactions for fossa length and height.

Conclusions: TMJ morphology differed across diverse skeletal cephalometric patterns. The fossa length and height were affected by the interactions of the vertical and sagittal skeletal patterns.

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