Dentigerous cyst

Case contributed by Melbourne Uni Radiology Masters


Jaw discomfort.

Patient Data

Age: 45-year-old
Gender: Male

Panoramic radioghraph (OPG)

Well defined lytic lesion at the angle of the mandible on the right. It contains an unerupted tooth.

Features favor a dentigerous cyst.

Case Discussion

Dentigerous cysts are slow growing benign and non-inflammatory odontogenic cysts that are thought to be developmental in origin.

On imaging, they usually present as a well-defined and unilocular radiolucency surrounding the crown of an unerupted or impacted tooth within the mandible. 

Differential diagnosis

When small, it is difficult to differentiate a dentigerous cyst from a large but normal dental follicle. When larger, the differential is essential that of lytic lesions of the jaw and includes:

  • periapical cyst (radicular cyst)
  • aneurysmal bone cyst (ABC)
  • ameloblastoma
  • keratocystic odontic tumor (odontogenic keratocyst)
  • cherubism (fibrous dysplasia)
  • Stafne cyst

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