The posterior slope of articular eminence of completely edentulous patients shows significant flattening as compared to patients with maintained occlusion.
Objective: To radiographically assess the posterior slope of articular eminence caused by edentulousness using orthopantomograph (OPG) and possible correlation between flattening of articular eminence and edentulousness.
Material and Methods: 90 OPGs, 30 each of completely dentulous, unilaterally edentulous, completely edentulous subjects in the age range of 30-70 years were selected. The angle of the posterior slope of articular eminence relative to Frankfort plane was measured on both sides on OPGs in Adobe photoshop 7. Data was analysed statistically with unpaired t test between groups and paired t test within group (P < 0.05). The linear regression test was used to perform the analysis of correlation between the angle and age, applying Pearson correlation coefficient.
Results: The highest angle values were measured in Group I, relatively lower in Group II and lowest in Group III. The correlation coefficient between age and flattening of articular eminence in Group I, II and III was -0.123, -0.161 and -0.101, on right side and 0.189, 0.133 and -0.088 on left side respectively.
Conclusion: The rate of deformation of articular eminence was significantly higher in edentulous patients than in patients with maintained occlusion. The flattening of articular eminence is significantly higher in completely edentulous patients than patients with maintained occlusion. However, there was no association between the increasing age and deformation of articular eminence.