Odontogenic tumors of the jaw are a group of lesions that originate from tissues associated with teeth development. They affect people in all age groups, being most significant between the second and fifth decade of life. Odontogenic lesions may not be commonly encountered in the daily practice of many clinicians or dentists and can be incidentally detected on dental examinations such as CBCT. On radiology examinations they usually appear lucent with features such as calcification or bony destruction and can be challenging to differentiate. A small proportion of these tumours may be malignant and their propensity to cause clinical symptoms related to mass effect or bony destruction makes accurate diagnosis from a clinical perspective vital.   

Examples of two of these lesions are as follows:


This is an odontogenic lesion that usually presents as a slowly growing painless expansion of the molar region of the mandible (85% of cases). Large tumours can present with a significant facial deformity. Treatment is usually surgical.

Odontogenic keratocyst.

An odontogenic lesion that is typically occult initially. Clinical signs at a later stage include bony expansion and infection The majority are found in the mandible, with half occurring at the angle of the mandible. Treatment is usually surgical. This lesion can display aggressive behaviour and high recurrence rates.

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