Direct morphometric evaluation of condylar asymmetry on human mandibles

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Mario Cantín; Guillermo Salgado; Oscar Inzunza; Verónica Inostroza; María Jesús Errázuriz; Cindy Pavez & Ramón Fuentes


The condylar asymmetry (CA) is a structural morphological alteration considered an important risk factor for temporomandibular joint disorders. CA can be evaluate by various techniques, mainly based on measurements on panoramic radiographs, given their wide use. However, the methods of x-rays are not very sensitive due to the magnification, distortion, overlapping structures and mandibular positioning. The aim of this study was to determine the values of condylar asymmetry for normal sample by direct measurement in human jaws. Thirty adult human dry mandibles belonging to Chilean population were used. The condylar asymmetry was evaluated by Habets and Kjellberg techniques, and descriptive analysis of mean, standard deviation, minimum and maximum values, and asymmetry/symmetry indexes were performed of each method. According to the Habets’ index, 7 cases (23.3%) showed a higher rate of 3% asymmetry, with a range between 3.64% and 27.26%. The morphological parameters of the right and left side showed no significant differences. According to the symmetry Kjellberg’s index, 19 cases (63.3%) showed values lower to 93% and were classified as asymmetric. The morphological parameters of the right and left side also showed no significant differences (p<0.05). When comparing the asymmetries reported by both methods, only 4 cases there was diagnostic agreement. By eliminating factors of distortion and angulation on measurements, the existence vertical asymmetry between mandibular condyles of the right and left side is confirmed, and on the other hand, it is clear that there are differences in the values of the asymmetry due to the different methods used. However, it is still unclear that condylar asymmetry can be considered physiological.

KEY WORDS: Mandibular condyle; Condilar asymmetry; Human mandible; Temporomandibular joint.

How to cite this article

CANTÍN, M.; SALGADO, G.; INZUNZA, O.; INOSTROZA, V.; ERRÁZURIZ, M. J.; PAVEZ, C. & FUENTES, R. Direct morphometric evaluation of condylar asymmetry on human mandibles. Int. J. Morphol., 31(4):1401-1406, 2013.