When your dental surgeon looks at your x-rays, there is more to see than just the wisdom teeth. The large cone beam CT scans capture a complete image of your teeth, jaws, sinuses, and jaw joints. They provide valuable information about your anatomy and they help your dental surgeon to identify anything that may be unhealthy or abnormal. Independent cysts, tumors, and infections are often detected in this manner, even when there are no noticeable symptoms. A number of these conditions have been grouped together and termed “Nonodontogenic”, which describes any pathology that is not directly related to the teeth.
Any lesions, cysts, or other abnormalities of the mouth, jaw, throat, or face must be carefully evaluated in order to determine if they present a risk for oral cancer or other health-related consequences. According to the diagnosis, the appropriate treatment will be rendered. Sometimes, though a lesion may be apparent on the x-ray, no treatment is recommended. Instead, the area will be documented in the patient chart and reevaluated periodically.
One example of such a lesion is the Stafne bone cyst. Named after the doctor who first identified the condition, the Stafne bone cyst is not really a true cyst at all. Instead, it is a developmental defect in the lower jaw that strongly resembles a cyst when viewed on an x-ray. On the x-ray, this defect appears to be round or oval-shaped with clearly defined borders and it is dark in color. It is found to reside beneath the inferior alveolar canal and represents a developmental indentation in the mandibular bone where a gland is positioned. It does not pose a health risk, and most patients are unaware that the condition exists.
For your safety, and because this condition mimics the visual appearance of a more harmful lesion, it’s up to your oral surgeon to differentiate and render a diagnosis. Once the lesion has been identified as a Stafne cyst, it should remain “static” or unchanging and no treatment is necessary, although the area will be monitored periodically with the help of advanced CT scans.
To learn more about various bone cysts and other dental conditions, which may or may not require oral surgery, contact our skilled and dedicated team of dental surgeons at Downtown Chicago’s premiere dental surgery clinic, ORA® Oral Surgery & Implant Studio. Call 312-328-9000 to schedule your personalized consultation today.