Relative incidence of odontogenic tumors and oral and jaw cysts in a Canadian population

Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol. 1994 Mar;77(3):276-80. doi: 10.1016/0030-4220(94)90299-2.


The diagnoses of 40,000 consecutively accessioned oral biopsies from the Oral Pathology Diagnostic Service, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada, were reviewed. All odontogenic neoplasm, neoplasm-like lesions (tumors), and true cysts of the oral tissues and jaws were listed. Clinical data were reviewed, and microscopic diagnoses were confirmed for cases in which diagnoses were ambiguous. Records of all cases were examined to identify distant referrals that were not representative of the study population. Of a total of 445 (1.11%) odontogenic tumors, 392 (0.98%) were lesions from patients in the usual local drawing area of the biopsy service; 53 were referred from distant centers. From the local population, odontomas were by far the most common tumor (51.53%) followed by ameloblastomas (13.52%) and peripheral odontogenic fibromas (8.93%). Locally, radicular (periapical) cysts were the most common odontogenic cyst (65.15%) followed by the dentigerous cyst (24.08%) and the odontogenic keratocyst (4.88%). The most common nonodontogenic cyst was the nasopalatine duct cyst that accounted for 73.43% of this subset of cysts. Surprisingly few studies of this type are available, especially for odontogenic tumors. These data are important to assess geographic differences in the incidence of lesions and to allow clinicians to make realistic judgments in counseling patients before biopsy about the probability of diagnosis and risks associated with nonspecific clinical or radiographic lesions.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Jaw Cysts / epidemiology*
  • Odontogenic Tumors / epidemiology*
  • Ontario / epidemiology