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Korean J Oral Maxillofac Radiol. 2000 Dec;30(4):259-263. English. Original Article.
Nah KS .
Department of Dental Radiology, College of Dentistry, Pusan National University, Korea.

PURPOSE: Upper cervical vertebrae are commonly imaged together with the jaw bones in panoramic radiography. There have been many studies investigating the possible role of mandible as an indicator of osteoporosis. But the result doesn't show unanimity. This study measured bone densities of mandible and second and third cervical vertebrae to find out any relationship between these two areas. These results may contribute in panorama being used as a screening method in detecting possible osteoporotic patient. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Randomly selected 226 digitized panoramic images with cervical vertebrae shadows from 156 dental patients between 5 to 80 years of age were used. And the bone densities of second and third cervical vertebrae, apical areas of first and second mandibular molars and interdental areas were measured. The bone density measurements were restricted to the cancellous bone and the average and standard deviations and paired t-tests were done to each measurements. RESULTS: All the measurements were statistically significantly related. The best relationship was found between the third cervical vertebrae and first and second mandibular apical areas. The average and standard deviations of the measured bone density ratios of these areas were 1.20+/-0.45 and 1.34+/-0.48 each. CONCLUSION: Patients whose panoramic bone density of the third cervical vertebrae are much below those of mandibular first or second molar apical areas may have osteoporosis.

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