This week in the clinic: Dentigerous cyst

This week is a case of a quite large dentigerous cyst.  A dentigerous cyst will appear radiolucent surrounding the crown of an impacted tooth.  The teeth most commonly effected are the maxillary canines and third molars (both maxilla and mandible).  A pathognomonic sign of a dentigerous cyst is that the border of the lesion is continuous with the cemento-enamel junction of the impacted tooth.  This case was first identified on bitewing radiographs noting a loss of bone with a radiopaque mass (impacted third molar) in this area.  A pantomograph was ordered to further evaluate the area.  The pantomograph shows a well-defined radiolucent entity surrounding the crown of the impacted right mandibular third molar.  The patient was referred to an oral surgeon for excision of the lesion.

Bitewing radiographs showing radiolucent area with radiopaque mass (third molar) in the mandible


For more information and other radiographs of dentigerous cysts check out the page on dentigerous cysts.


This week in the clinic is a weekly series featuring cases I have come across since I started in the dental field.  These cases have been collected from throughout the United States and world.  While the series title is ‘This week in the clinic’, that does not necessarily mean the case was actually seen this week in the clinic.


About Dr. Shawneen Gonzalez

Oral and Maxillofacial Radiologist having fun finding cool things on radiographs. :)

Posted on November 4, 2011, in Cases and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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