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Quintessence Int. 2018;49(5):419-426. doi: 10.3290/j.qi.a40112.

Incidental findings based on anatomical location and clinical significance in CBCT scans of dental implant patients.



Several incidental findings with varying degrees of clinical significance are often found on cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) scans of the maxillofacial skeleton acquired for dental procedures. The present study analyzed CBCT scans of dental implant therapy patients to identify incidental findings and assign those findings an appropriate clinical significance.


A total of 500 CBCT scans of patients were evaluated for this study. The incidental findings recorded in different anatomical regions were assigned a clinical significance score of mild, moderate, or severe. These findings were further segregated based on age and sex to evaluate specific trends for prevalence of incidental findings and their clinical significance.


Out of the 298 intracranial findings, four were categorized as moderate. Out of 407 sinonasal findings, 19 were categorized as severe. Most (43%) of the airway findings were classified as mild. Among the cervical vertebrae findings the severe category included degenerative changes and vertebral-body fusion along with other degenerative changes. Most (259 [51.8%]) of the vascular findings were categorized as severe.


Patients referred for dental implant treatment present with a myriad of incidental radiographic findings in the head and neck region. It is important that care providers recognize and understand these findings so appropriate care and timely intervention may be initiated.


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