Home | About us | Editorial board | Ahead of print | Current issue | Archives | Search | Submit article | Instructions | Subscribe | Advertise | Contact us |  Login 
National Journal of Maxillofacial Surgery
Print this page Email this page Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size
Users Online: 123

Table of Contents
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 168-172  

Multiple dentigerous cysts in a nonsyndromic minor patient: Report of an unusual case

Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Rama Dental College, Hospital and Research Centre, Kanpur, India

Date of Web Publication9-Apr-2011

Correspondence Address:
Jagveer Singh Saluja
111A/20A Ashok Nagar, Kanpur - 208 012
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0975-5950.79223

Rights and Permissions

A dentigerous cyst is an odontogenic cyst, thought to be of developmental origin. It is associated with the crown of an unerupted (or partially erupted) tooth. The cyst cavity is lined by epithelial cells derived from the reduced enamel epithelium of the tooth forming organ. Most dentigerous cysts are solitary. Multiple/bilateral cysts are usually found in association with a number of syndromes including cleidocranial dysplasia, Maroteaux-Lamy syndrome and Gorlin--Goltz syndrome (multiple OKCs). In the absence of these syndromes, the occurrence of multiple dentigerous cysts is rare. Here, we report the unusual occurrence of non-syndromic multiple dentigerous cysts.

Keywords: Dentigerous cyst, enucleation, unerupted teeth

How to cite this article:
Saluja JS, Ramakrishnan M J, Vinit G B, Jaiswara C. Multiple dentigerous cysts in a nonsyndromic minor patient: Report of an unusual case. Natl J Maxillofac Surg 2010;1:168-72

How to cite this URL:
Saluja JS, Ramakrishnan M J, Vinit G B, Jaiswara C. Multiple dentigerous cysts in a nonsyndromic minor patient: Report of an unusual case. Natl J Maxillofac Surg [serial online] 2010 [cited 2022 Dec 9];1:168-72. Available from: https://www.njms.in/text.asp?2010/1/2/168/79223

   Introduction Top

A dentigerous cyst is an epithelial-lined developmental cavity that encloses the crown of an unerupted tooth at the cementoenamel junction. Dentigerous cysts are the second most common odontogenic cysts after radicular cysts, accounting for approximately 24% of all true cysts in the jaws. Their frequency in the general population has been estimated to be 1.44 cyst for every 100 unerupted teeth. The cyst arises from the separation of the follicle from the crown of an unerupted tooth and although it may involve any tooth, the mandibular third molars are the most commonly affected. Dentigerous cysts are frequently discovered when radiographs are taken to investigate a failure of tooth eruption, a missing tooth or malalignment. There is usually no pain or discomfort associated with the cyst unless it becomes secondarily infected. Radiographs show a unilocular, radiolucent lesion characterized by well-defined sclerotic margins and associated with the crown of an unerupted tooth. While a normal follicular space is 3 to 4 mm, a dentigerous cyst can be suspected when the space is more than 5 mm.

Most dentigerous cysts are solitary. Multiple/bilateral cysts are usually found in association with a number of syndromes including cleidocranial dysplasia, Maroteaux--Lamy syndrome and Gorlin--Goltz syndrome. In the absence of these syndromes, the occurrence of multiple dentigerous cysts is rare. [1],[2],[3],[4],[5]

Here, we report the unusual occurrence of non-syndromic multiple dentigerous cysts [Table 1].
Table 1: Reported cases till year 2000

Click here to view

   Materials and Methods Top

A 22 year male was referred to the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery from the department of Oral Medicine for the evaluation of an asymptomatic, cystic lesion in all the four quadrants. Intraoral examination revealed many missing teeth in all the quadrants. No extra-oral swellings or tenderness was noted. The patient's medical history was non-significant. There were no associated syndromes present.

The investigations done were FNAC, O.P.G, IOPAR and routine blood investigations [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Pre-operative O.P.G

Click here to view

A panoramic radiograph showed missing teeth in all the four quadrants. Unilocular well-defined corticated radiolucencies surrounding all the missing teeth were identified. Missing teeth associated with cyst were 15, 12, 11,21,22,25,33,35,43,44,45 [Figure 2],[Figure 3],[Figure 4],[Figure 5].
Figure 2: Lower left quadrant

Click here to view
Figure 3: Lower right quadrant

Click here to view
Figure 4: Upper quadrants

Click here to view
Figure 5: Extracted teeth with a lesion

Click here to view

The surgical removal of the cysts of the lower quadrant was performed under conscious sedation and the upper quadrants were planned and performed in hospital under general anesthesia and the material was analyzed. Pathological analysis of the superior lesions showed a cyst wall composed of fibrous tissue and lined by non-keratinized stratified squamous epithelium. Pathological analysis of the inferior lesions showed an inflamed cyst with a thicker epithelial lining with rete ridges and fibrous capsule with a diffuse chronic inflammatory infiltrate. The final diagnosis of all the lesions was a dentigerous cyst.

   Results Top

The submitted specimen consisted of two sacs of soft tissue, the largest measuring 20 × 4 mm. Microscopic sections of both specimens were similar, showing cyst walls composed of fibrous tissue and lined by stratified squamous, non-keratinized epithelium with Rushton bodies.

These features were suggestive of dentigerous cysts [Figure 6] and [Figure 7].
Figure 6: Microscopic section.

Click here to view
Figure 7: Post-operative O.P.G.

Click here to view

   Discussion Top

Dentigerous cysts are very common developmental cysts and they are generally solitary. Bilateral dentigerous cysts usually occur in association with syndromes like mucopolysaccharidosis (type VI) and cleidocranial dysplasia. Both diseases cause alterations in tooth development or in their eruption. These conditions may participate in the development of multiple dentigerous cysts.

Maroteaux-Lamy syndrome is one of the mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS), a group of diseases resulting from a genetic defect in the degradation of specific mucopolysaccharides. With this syndrome, there is a deficiency of N-acetyl-4-sulfatase that results in impaired degradation of dermatan sulfate, which accumulates in tissues and is excreted in the urine. Dental features include unerupted dentition, dentigerous cysts, malocclusions, condylar defects and gingival hyperplasia. [14]

Cleidocranial dysplasia is an autosomal dominantly inherited disorder that results in a partial or complete absence of clavicles, short stature, frontal and parietal bossing, maxillary micrognathia, prolonged retention of the primary dentition, delayed eruption of the permanent dentition and unerupted supernumerary teeth. Multiple dentigerous cyst formation occurs in both conditions and can develop at any site in the upper or lower jaws. [15]

Gorlin-Goltz syndrome is autosomal dominant with a high penetrance and variable expressivity. It is caused by mutations in the patched tumor suppressor gene (PTCH), a human homologue of the Drosophila gene mapped to chromosome 9q21-23. Chromosomal mapping and genetic studies suggest that the underlying basis for this disease is an abnormality in the Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway. Gorlin--Goltz syndrome, also known as basal cell nevus syndrome, is an uncommon disorder, which is characterized by numerous basal cell carcinomas (seen in 50-97% of people with the syndrome), maxillary keratocysts (present in about 75% of patients) and musculoskeletal malformations. [16]

Multiple/bilateral dentigerous cysts are extremely rare in the absence of a syndrome or systemic disease. After searching the literature, only 17 cases were identified from 1943 to 2005. The age range for reported cases varies widely, from 3 years to 57 years of age. The mean age of the 17 cases was 22.5 years. Ten of them occurred in children under the age of 15 years. [1],[2],[3]

Patients frequently present unerupted teeth or asymptomatic slow-growing swellings. As in this case, all but one of the reported cases occurred in asymptomatic individuals. In the present case, in addition to asymptomatic swelling, the patient also presented any unerupted teeth.

In all reported cases, including the present case, radiographic examination showed a unilocular radiolucent lesion associated with the crown of an unerupted tooth and well-defined sclerotic margins.

It is important to perform radiographic examinations in cases of unerupted teeth. Initially a panoramic radiograph may be used for this examination. However, in cases of extensive lesion, CT imaging becomes necessary. CT imaging gives information about origin, size, content, cortical plates and relationship of the lesion to adjacent anatomical structures. Initially, a panoramic radiograph was evaluated in the present case. Only in a panoramic radiograph was it possible to observe a second lesion associated with the right maxillary third molar, since the lesion had not yet caused swelling. Thus early detection is only possible with radiographic examination of unerupted teeth.

Radiographic examinations provide valuable information. However, pathological analysis of the lesion is essential for the definitive diagnosis. Other lesions may share the same radiological features as dentigerous cysts, such as odontogenic keratocysts and unicystic ameloblastoma. In this case, these lesions were included in the differential diagnosis after the radiographies were observed. Although involvement of the tooth, cortical expansion and radicular reabsorption are characteristics more related to dentigerous cysts, other lesions were not excluded until the results of the pathological analysis were known. Odontogenic keratocysts do not expand the bone to the same degree as dentigerous cysts and are less likely to produce teeth resorption. According to Tsukamoto et al, the mean age of patients with odontogenic keratocyst was less than that of patients with a dentigerous cyst; the mean area of the odontogenic keratocysts was larger than that of dentigerous cysts; and dentigerous cysts are more likely to have smooth periphery and odontogenic keratocysts are more likely to have scalloped periphery. It is not possible to differentiate unicystic ameloblastomas from dentigerous cysts with clinical and radiographic examinations.

All lesions together with the associated tooth were enucleated in hospital under general anesthesia/conscious sedation when pathological analysis was obtained. Enucleation was the treatment in 16 of 17 reported cases, although larger lesions may be surgically drained and marsupialized to relieve the pressure within the cysts and to prevent damage to the involved permanent teeth. The recurrence of Dentigerous cysts is very rare. [7]

   Conclusion Top

Multiple/bilateral dentigerous cysts are extremely rare in the absence of a syndrome or systemic disease. After searching the literature, only 17 cases were identified from 1943 to 2005.

Appropriate and thorough radiographs, especially in mandibular third molars, are essential for correct diagnosis and management of multiple supernumeraries.

   References Top

1.Myers PB. Bilateral dentigerous cysts of the mandible. Br Dent J 1947;74:67-8.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Mourshed F. A roentgenographic study of dentigerous cysts. I. Incidence in a population sample. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol 1964;18:47-53.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Gorlin RJ. Cysts of the jaws, oral floor and neck. In: Gorlin RJ, Goodman HW, editors. Thoma's oral pathology. 6 th ed, Vol.1. St. Louis: Mosby; 1970.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Daley TD, Pringle GA. Relative incidence of odontogenic tumors and oral and jaw cysts in Canadian population. Oral Sur Oral Med Oral Pathol 1994;77:276-80.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Goaz PW, Stuart CW. Cysts of the jaws. In: Oral radiology, principles and interpretation. 3 rd ed. St. Louis: Mosby; 1994. p. 400.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.O'Neil DW, Mosby EL, Lowe JW. Bilateral mandibular dentigerous cysts in a five-year-old child: Report of a case. ASDC J Dent Child 1989;56:382-4.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Eidinger GB. Bilateral cysts in the child patient. Report of a case and review of the literature. Univ Tor Dent J 1989;2:20-3.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.McDonnell DG. Bilateral dentigerous cysts. A case history. J Ir Dent Assoc 1988;34:63.  Back to cited text no. 8
9.Crinzi RA. Bilateral dentigerous cysts of the mandible. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol 1982;54:367  Back to cited text no. 9
10.Swerdloff M, Alexander SA, Ceen, RF, Ferguson FS. Bilateral mandibular dentigerous cysts in a seven-year-old child. J Pedod 1980;5:77-84.  Back to cited text no. 10
11.Burton DJ, Sheffer RB. Serratia infection in a patient with bilateral subcondylar impacted third molars and associated dentigerous cysts: Report of a case. J Oral Surg 1980;38:135-8.  Back to cited text no. 11
12.Callaghan JH. Bilateral impaction of lower third molars in association with bilateral dentigerous cyst formation. A case report. Glasg Dent J 1973;4:36-8.  Back to cited text no. 12
13.Stanback JS. The management of bilateral cysts of the mandible. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol 1970;30:587-91.  Back to cited text no. 13
14.Roberts MW, Barton NW, Constantopoulos G, Butler DP, Donahue AH. Occurrence of multiple dentigerous cysts in a patient with the Maroteaux- Lamy syndrome (Mucopolysaccharidosis, type VI). Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol 1984;58:169-75.  Back to cited text no. 14
15.Trimble LD, West RA, McNeill RW. Cleidocranial dysplasia. Comprehensive treatment of the dentofacial abnormalities. J Am Dent Assoc 1982;105:661-6.  Back to cited text no. 15
16.Patil K, Mahima VG, Gupta B. Gorlin syndrome: A case report. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 2005;23:198-203.  Back to cited text no. 16
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5], [Figure 6], [Figure 7]

  [Table 1]

This article has been cited by
1 Bilateral Non-Syndromic Dentigerous Cyst – Rare Case Report and Literature Review
Kshitij Omprakash Bang,Shweta Ramashray Yadav,Ramakrishna Shenoi,Nilima Budhraja,Pranav Ingole
Advances in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. 2021; : 100043
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
2 Dentigerous Cyst Mimicking Radicular Cyst during Primary Dentition Period – A Diagnostic Dilemma
Yuvraj Parmar,Naman Patel,Vivek Tarsariya,Neelkunvar Maharaja,Vidhi Parmar
Journal of Research and Advancement in Dentistry. 2021; 12(5): 270
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
3 Bilateral Dentigerous Cysts in a Non-Syndromic Patient: Literature Review and Report of a Case
Mohammad Mehdizadeh,Samira Hajisadeghi,Ali Lotfi
Journal of Islamic Dental Association of IRAN. 2019; 31(1): 57
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
4 Bilateral dentigerous cysts: an updated literature review and report of a case with associated root resorption
Zehra Yonel,Arathi Papineni McIntosh,Neil Donaldson,Michael Murphy,Pankaj Taneja
Dental Update. 2018; 45(11): 1063
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
5 Bi-maxillary dentigerous cyst in a non-syndromic child – review of literature with a case presentation
A. Dhupar,S. Yadav,V. Dhupar,H.C. Mittal,S. Malik,P. Rana
Journal of Stomatology oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. 2017; 118(1): 45
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
6 The value of cone beam computed tomography in the management of dentigerous cysts – a review and case report
James R Allison,Grace Garlington
Dental Update. 2017; 44(3): 182
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
7 Multiple Dentogerous Cysts With a Complex Odontoma: An Unusual Case Report
Mahnaz Sheikhi,Mohamad Hasan Samandari,Mitra Karbasi Kheir,Amir Hosein Moaddabi
Avicenna Journal of Dental Research. 2016; In press(In press)
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
8 Unusual Behavior of the Mandibular Canal Associated to a Dentigerous Cyst
Ibrahim Nasseh
Journal of Dental Health, Oral Disorders & Therapy. 2015; 2(2)
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
9 Dentigerous cysts in four quadrants of a nonsyndromic patient: case report and literature review
Naile Cura,Ali Hanttash,Beste Inceoglu,Kaan Orhan,Aysegul Mine Tuzuner Oncul
Oral Radiology. 2014;
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
10 Non-syndromic bilateral dentigerous cysts of maxillary and mandibular canines: A case series and review of literature
Atul Kaushik,Astha Chaudhry,Pulin Saluja,Munish Kumar,Monika Varshney
Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Medicine, and Pathology. 2014;
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
11 Pericoronal radiolucency associated with incomplete crown
Kyung-Soo Nah
Imaging Science in Dentistry. 2013; 43(4): 295
[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
    Materials and Me...
    Article Figures
    Article Tables

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded557    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 11    

Recommend this journal