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East Afr Med J. 2002 Jan;79(1):3-7.

Odontogenic tumours and tumour-like lesions in Tanzania.

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Department of Oral Surgery and Oral Pathology, Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.



To retrospectively document the pattern of occurrence of odontogenic tumours in Tanzania over fifteen years.


The histologic types, site, age and sex distribution of odontogenic tumours in Tanzania from 1982 to 1997 were reviewed. Records of patients who presented to the four referral centres in Tanzania and who had histologically proven oral tumours and tumour-like conditions were examined.


Odontogenic tumours comprised about 12.2% of all oral tumours and tumour-like conditions. The majority of odontogenic tumours (55.3%) were seen in patients below 30 years of age and they more commonly affected the mandible than maxilla. Ameloblastoma was the most commonly seen odontogenic tumour (73.7%), followed by odontogenic myxoma (10.3%). The site, sex, and histologic distribution of ameloblastoma did not differ from other African studies. Over 50% of patients with ameloblastoma presented to hospital late (after three or more years).


In order to improve on the treatment outcome, the need for early detection and referral of patients by medical personnel and dentists is stressed.

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