Home  -  About us  -  Editorial board  -  Search  -  Ahead of print  -  Current issue  -  Archives  -  Instructions  -  Subscribe  -  Contacts  -  Advertise - Login 

 Table of Contents  
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 86-89

Surgical management of an erupted complex odontoma occupying maxillary sinus

Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Subharti Dental College and Hospital, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, India

Date of Web Publication23-Apr-2012

Correspondence Address:
K V Arunkumar
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Subharti Dental College and Hospital, NH-58, Delhi-Meerut-Haridwar Bypass Road, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh - 250 005
Login to access the Email id

DOI: 10.4103/2231-0746.95333

PMID: 23482681

Rights and Permissions

The occurrence of complex odontomas is not considered to be rare in the jaws. But the occurence of large odontomas obscuring the maxillary sinus, or erupting into the oral cavity are considered to be rare. The prognosis is good with surgical excision and recurrence is nil. Most of the times the surgical site can be closed primarily, but sometimes requires local flaps to achieve tension free closure. Here, we report such a case treated by surgical excision trans orally followed soft tissue defect reconstruction with pedicled palatal island flap.

Keywords: Complex odontoma, maxillary sinus, odontomas, palatal flap

How to cite this article:
Arunkumar K V, Vijaykumar, Garg N. Surgical management of an erupted complex odontoma occupying maxillary sinus. Ann Maxillofac Surg 2012;2:86-9

How to cite this URL:
Arunkumar K V, Vijaykumar, Garg N. Surgical management of an erupted complex odontoma occupying maxillary sinus. Ann Maxillofac Surg [serial online] 2012 [cited 2021 Oct 26];2:86-9. Available from: https://www.amsjournal.com/text.asp?2012/2/1/86/95333

  Introduction Top

Odontomas are best known as hamartomatous benign tumors rather than true neoplasms, arising from odontogenic tissues. Histologically, they are classified as compound and complex variety. [1] The tissues in compound odontoma appear to be arranged orderly containing rudimentary tooth-like structures having enamel, dentin, cementum and pulp whereas, the complex odontoma is a mass of disorganized dental tissues. Clinically they are classified as intraosseous (central), peripheral (soft tissue or extra-osseous) and erupted odontomas. [2] The central (intraosseous) odontomas are common representing 51%, occurring in anterior maxilla (compound odontoma) followed by mandibular molar region (complex odontoma). [3] Peripheral odontoma are rare and occur in the soft tissue over the tooth-bearing zone and most reported ones are of compound variety. [4] The erupted odontoma are the one which are present coronal to an erupting or impacted tooth or superficially in bone and may have enabled its eruption into the oral cavity. [5]

Here, we present the surgical management of a case of complex odontoma erupted intraorally, occupying 2/3rd of maxillary sinus, symptomatic by causing pain, foul smell and occasional nasal discharge.

  Case Report Top

A 22-year-old male patient presented with history of pain and swelling in the left cheek region since 6 months, with nasal obstruction, occasional purulent discharge from left nostril associated with foul smell and reported several episodes of oral bleeding. On examination, a diffuse swelling [Figure 1]a in the left cheek measuring approximately 3X4cm, hard in consistency, Immobile with neurosensory deficits. Intraorally, a yellowish white hard mass [Figure 1]b was seen in the region of clinically missing maxillary left first and second molar teeth with palatal as well as buccal expansion obliterating the buccal vestibule. The mucosa around was apparently inflamed with evidence of discharge and bleeding. Left submandibular lymph nodes were palpable, two in number, oval shape (0.5x1 cm), soft, mobile and nontender. Except for partial deafness in the left ear, patient had no significant personal or family history.
Figure 1(a): Diffuse swelling in the left cheek
Figure 1(b): Erupted odontoma in place of the molar teeth

Click here to view

Routine conventional radiographs and CT scans were obtained [Figure 2]a and b. A 4x3.5-cm irregular radiopaque mass (cotton wool-like appearance) occupied the left posterior maxilla and extended into 2/3rd of maxillary sinus. The first and second molar were impacted, one lying at the orbital floor and other high in the tuberosity region. A provisional diagnosis of odontoma was made. The mass was excised intraorally in piecemeal due to its size [Figure 3]a. The teeth were deep inside and an attempt to retrieve them caused severe pain and discomfort to the patient under local anesthesia. Therefore, the wound was closed with the help of collagen sheet supported with an acrylic palatal plate. The collagen sheet failed to aid in healing of the defect, resulting in wound dehiscence [Figure 4]a. Two weeks later a palatal island flap was designed and rotated over the dehiscence and closed primarily without tension. Wound healed completely without any postoperative complications [Figure 4]b. Histopathologically [Figure 3]b the decalcified section showed haphazard arrangement of dentin and cementum with numerous pulp spaces confirming the diagnosis as complex odontoma. Six months after the surgery the patient was free of symptoms and no postoperative complications were evident. The patient is under follow-up to assess the fate of the impacted teeth [Figure 3]c as there is evidence of them erupting once the odontoma is removed. Patient has been rehabilitated with a removable partial denture replacing the first and second molar (4c) to facilitate masticatory function and also to prevent supraeruption of opposing lower molar teeth.
Figure 2(a): Pre-operative orthopantomogram with radiopaque mass in sinus and impacted maxillary first and second molar
Figure 2(b): CT-Axial view showing hyperdense mass with surrounding hypodense halo around the mass

Click here to view
Figure 3(a): Excised specimen measuring 3x4 cm
Figure 3(b): Haphazard arrangement of dentin and cementum with numerous pulp spaces
Figure 3(c): Post-op OPG with impacted teeth expected to erupt over a period of time

Click here to view
Figure 4(a): Wound dehiscence due to breakdown of collagen sheet
Figure 4(b): Palatal Island fl ap healing after 3 weeks
Figure 4(c): Removal prosthesis replacing first and second molar

Click here to view

  Discussion Top

The etiology of odontoma is not known but environmental causes such as infection, trauma, family history and genetic mutation are hypothesized. [6] The complex odontoma constitute 5-30% of all odontogenic tumors and are mostly found in the posterior mandible and anterior maxilla. They are seen with unerupted teeth in 10-44% and about 17% of them are associated with impacted maxillary lateral incisors. Females are affected marginally more than male (1.5:1). Majority of cases (84%) are seen below 30 years but are seen in any age group with peak incidence in second decade. Less than 10% are found in patients above 40 years of age. [7],[8],[9]

H.M. Worth in 1937 classified odontomas as: a) epithelial odontomas arising from dental epithelium, e.g., dentigerous cyst, adamantinoma. b) composite odontomas arising from the dental epithelium and dental mesoblastic tissues, e.g., complex, compound, geminated and dilated. [10] Thoma and Goldman in 1946, gave a classification as: a) Geminated composite odontomas: nearly well-developed fused teeth. b) Compound composite odontomas: made up rudimentary teeth. c) Complex composite odontomas: calcified structures not resembling normal anatomical arrangement of dental tissues. d) Dilated odontomas: enlarged crown or root portion of tooth. e) Cystic odontomas: odontoma encapsulated by fibrous connective tissue in a cyst or in the wall of a cyst. [11]

Odontomas are also classified as intraosseous and extraosseous odontomas. The intraosseous odontomas occur inside the bone and may erupt into the oral cavity (erupted odontome). The extraosseous or peripheral odontomas are odontomas occurring in the soft tissue covering the tooth-bearing portions of the jaws and having a tendency to exfolitate. [12],[13]

World Health Organization (WHO) classified odontomas into three groups: a) Complex odontoma; when the calcified dental tissues are simply arranged in an irregular mass bearing no morphological similarity to rudimentary teeth. b) Compound odontoma: composed of all odontogenic tissues in an orderly pattern, which result in many teeth-like structures, but without morphological resemblance to normal teeth. c) Ameloblastic fibro-odontome: consists of varying amounts of calcified dental tissue and dental papilla-like tissue, the later component resembling an ameloblastic fibroma. The ameloblastic fibro-odontome is considered as an immature precursor of complex odontoma. A new variant called as hybrid odontomas are quoted in few published literatures. [14]

Odontomas are incidental findings on routine radiographs. Retention of deciduous teeth, unerupted permanent teeth, cortical expansion and teeth displacement are all indicators for a possible odontomas. [7] They are symptomatic with expansion, local and/or radiating pain and neurosensory deficit when secondarily infected. [15] The differential diagnosis of complex odontoma include cementifying or ossifying fibroma, adenomatoid odontogenic tumor, calcifying odontogenic cysts, periapical cemental dysplasia and calcifying epithelial odontogenic tumor.

Although the odontomas erupting in the oral cavity is controversial, the reason is attributed to the eruptive forces of the apparently impacted teeth and in cases of absence of teeth, the reasons could possibly be the resorption of alveolar ridge exposing the odontoma, sequestration of overlying bone, alveolar bone remodeling in young adults, reactive growth of the capsule surrounding odontoma in elderly patients. Odontomas have been associated with trauma during primary dentition as well as with inflammatory and infectious processes, hereditary anomalies (multiple odontomas in Gardner syndrome, Hermann's syndrome), odontoblastic hyperactivity and alterations in the genetic components responsible for controlling dental development. [5],[8]

Association of this lesion with the unerupted tooth is high and three quarters of impacted teeth related to odontomas can erupt after removal of the odontoma. [16] Another reason for removing odontomas is their association with cysts in a significant number of cases (27.6%). Looking at the association of these lesions and the potential complications associated with the cyst, odontomas should be properly evaluated and removed completely in case of any suspicion of cystic transformation. [17] In cases where smaller segments are left behind, they do not tend to grow or get infected postoperatively. [18] Excision of larger erupted odontoma may cause problem to achieve primary closure and may require additional soft tissues for wound closure. The most common options are palatal rotation flap, buccal mucosal flaps, pedicled buccal fat pad graft or tongue flap.

  Conclusions Top

Odontomas are common benign odontogenic pathologies that are accidentally discovered on routine radiography when asymptomatic. But can be a cause of concern when they grow to attain unusual dimensions, displacing and preventing eruption of teeth, cystic transformation. When they occur in the maxilla with sinuses present can go unnoticed till they attain bigger size leading to functional problems. A routine periodic check-up along with conventional radiographs should be mandatory for early detection of benign asymptomatic bone tumors and treat to avoid future complications.

  References Top

1.Kramer IR, Pindborg JJ, Shear M. Histological typing of odontogenic tumors. WHO International histological classification of tumors. Berlin: Springer-Verlag; 1992. p. 21.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Philipsen HP, Reichart PA, Praetorius F. Mixed odontogenic tumors and odontomas. Considerations on interrelationship. Review of the literature and presentation of 134 new cases of odontomas. Oral Oncol 1997;33:86-99.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Daley TD, Wysoki GP, Pringle GA. Relative incidence of odontogenic tumors and oral jaw cyst in a Canadian population. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol 1994;77:276-80.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Ide F, Shimoyama T, Horie N. Gingival peripheral odontoma in an adult: Case report. J Periodontol 2000;71:830-2.   Back to cited text no. 4
5.Ragalli CC, Ferreria JL, Blasco L. Large erupting complex odontoma. Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg 2000;29:373-4.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Mupparapu M, Singer SR, Rinaggio J. Complex odontoma of unusual size involving the maxillary sinus: Report of a case and review of CT and histopathologic features. Quintessence Int (Berl) 2004;35:641-5.   Back to cited text no. 6
7.Reichart PA, Philipsen HP. Complex odontoma, odontogenic tumors and allied lesions. New Delhi: Quintessence Publishing Co.; 2005. p. 141-7.   Back to cited text no. 7
8.Vengal M, Arora H, Ghosh S, Pai KM. Large erupting complex odontoma: A case report. J Can Dent Assoc 2007;73:169-73.   Back to cited text no. 8
9.Chang JY, Wang YP, Liu BY, Sun A, Chiang CP. Odontoma: A clinicopathologic study of 81 cases. J Formos Med Assoc 2003;102:876-82.   Back to cited text no. 9
10.Worth HM. Tumours of the jaw. Br J Radiol 1937;10:223-36.  Back to cited text no. 10
11.Thoma KH, Goldman HM. Odontogenic tumors- A classification based on observation of the epithelial, mesenchymal, and mixed varieties. Am J Pathol 1946;22:433-71.  Back to cited text no. 11
12.Das UM, Nagarathna, Arathi. Unerupted maxillary primary canine associated with compound composite odontoma. A case report. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 2002;20:98-101.  Back to cited text no. 12
13.Singh S, Singh M, Singh I, Khandelwal D. Compound composite odontoma associated with an unerupted deciduous incisor- A rarity. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 2005;23:146-50.  Back to cited text no. 13
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
14.Phillips MD, Closmann JJ, Baus MR, Torske KR, Williams SB. Hybrid odontogenic tumor with features of ameloblastic fibro-odontoma, calcifying odontogenic cyst, and adenomatoid odontogenic tumor: A case report and review of the literature. J Oral Maxillofac Surg 2010;68:470-4.  Back to cited text no. 14
15.Tüzüm MS. Orofacial pain associated with an infected complex odontoma case report. Aust Dent J 1990;35:352-4.   Back to cited text no. 15
16.Morning P. Impacted teeth in relation to odontomas. Int J Oral Surg 1980;9:81-91.  Back to cited text no. 16
17.Wanjari SP, Tekade SA, Parwani RN, Managutti SA. Dentigerous cyst associated with multiple complex composite odontomas. Contemp Clin Dent 2011;2:215-7.  Back to cited text no. 17
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
18.Marx RE, Stern D. Odontogenic tumors [14]; Oral and maxillofacial pathology. Quintessence; 2003. p. 678-9.  Back to cited text no. 18


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4]

This article has been cited by
1 A Case of Odontoma, Complex Type in the Medial Wall of the Maxillary Sinus
Japanese Journal of Oral Diagnosis / Oral Medicine. 2021; 34(1): 41
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
2 The Importance of Histopathological Examination to the Final Diagnosis of Peripheral Odontogenic Tumors: A Case Report of a Peripheral Odontoma
Marcio Augusto de Oliveira,Bruna Reis,Debora Pallos,Yeon Jung Kim,Paulo Henrique Braz-Silva,Fabiana Martins
Case Reports in Dentistry. 2019; 2019: 1
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
3 Huge erupted complex odontoma in maxilla
Cai Zhuoying,Yan Fengguo
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Cases. 2019; 5(1): 100096
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
4 A Case of Compound Odontoma in the Maxillary Sinus of a Child
Japanese Journal of Oral Diagnosis / Oral Medicine. 2019; 32(3): 204
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
5 Extensive Maxillary Odontomas in 2 Dogs
Naomi K. Hoyer,Kristin M. Bannon,Cynthia M. Bell,Jason W. Soukup
Journal of Veterinary Dentistry. 2016; 33(4): 234
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
6 Gargantuan infected complex odontome of the maxilla: A case report and a brief review
Sahana Adirajaiah,Swetha Acharya,Venkatesh Anehosur,Kaveri Hallikeri,Abhijit Joshi,Dhirendra Sirur
Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Medicine, and Pathology. 2016;
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
7 Patient mit knochendichter Verschattung im Sinus maxillaris
C. Pache,M. Tröltzsch,S. Müller,M. Ehrenfeld,S. Otto
HNO. 2014;
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
8 Erupted Complex Odontoma Delayed Eruption of Permanent Molar
Yumi Ohtawa,Saori Ichinohe,Eri Kimura,Sadamitsu Hashimoto
The Bulletin of Tokyo Dental College. 2013; 54(4): 251
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
9 An Odontoma Found in the Wake of Maxillary Sinusitis Onset
Megumi Sotobori,Kohei Marukawa,Masatoshi Higuchi,Ryuichi Nakazawa,Akinori Moroi,Yuri Ishihara,Ran Iguchi,Akihiko Kosaka,Hiroumi Ikawa,Koichiro Ueki
Case Reports in Dentistry. 2013; 2013: 1
[Pubmed] | [DOI]


Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
Access Statistics
Email Alert *
Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article
  Case Report
   Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded580    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 9    

Recommend this journal