Contemporary Clinical Dentistry
  Home | About us | Editorial board | Search
Ahead of print | Current Issue | Archives | Advertise
Instructions | Online submission| Contact us | Subscribe |


Login  | Users Online: 1124  Print this pageEmail this pageSmall font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size 

 Table of Contents  
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 283-286  

Application of osteomucoperiosteal flap in large unicystic ameloblastoma to promote early bone healing: An alternative to primary bone grafting

Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Subharti Dental College, Swami Vivekanand Subharti University, Delhi-Haridwar bypass road, Meerut - 250001, Uttar Pradesh, India

Date of Web Publication13-Jan-2012

Correspondence Address:
Gagan Khare
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Subharti Dental College, Subharti Puram, Delhi-Haridwar by-pass road, Meerut - 250001, Uttar Pradesh
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0976-237X.91789

Rights and Permissions

Background: The unicystic variety of ameloblastoma is reported to be significantly less prone to recurrence in young patients than its conventional counterpart, and therefore can be treated conservatively. This paper describes a technique of using an osteoperiosteal flap to allow complete enucleation of a unicystic ameloblastoma. The technique maintains the continuity of the mandible and restores full thickness as well as strength of the mandible to promote early healing. It also maintains blood supply and proper facial contour so that esthetics is unimpaired. Materials and Methods: We describe two cases of unicystic ameloblastoma in which we used an osteoperiosteal flap. This flap was then infractured at the lower border to obliterate the dead space. Results: The sequential radiographs demonstrate early incorporation of the graft and complete filling of the defect by 3 months. At 5 years of follow-up in our first case, complete healing of bone was observed. Conclusions: We believe that these procedures can be the treatment of choice in such cases, especially with larger lesions, as these rapidly restore the patient's facial contour to normal as well as reduce the healing time.

Keywords: Early healing, osteoperiosteal flap, unicystic ameloblastoma

How to cite this article:
Khare G, Kumar S. Application of osteomucoperiosteal flap in large unicystic ameloblastoma to promote early bone healing: An alternative to primary bone grafting. Contemp Clin Dent 2011;2:283-6

How to cite this URL:
Khare G, Kumar S. Application of osteomucoperiosteal flap in large unicystic ameloblastoma to promote early bone healing: An alternative to primary bone grafting. Contemp Clin Dent [serial online] 2011 [cited 2022 Aug 17];2:283-6. Available from:

   Introduction Top

Surgical removal of large cyst/tumor leaves behind large bony cavity which should be addressed to promote early regeneration and healing. This can be accomplished by special surgical techniques or by limiting the volume of the blood clot in the cavity. [1] The former may be accomplished by approximating the bony walls of the cavity [2] or by saucerization like procedures, while the latter requires grafting with bone and bone substitutes or implantation with a variety of alloplastic materials. [3],[4],[5],[6],[7],[8] Although these techniques have met with varying degrees of success clinically, their application is sometimes limited by availability, cost and propensity for additional surgical morbidity. The osteomucoperiosteal flap, as described by Yih et al., [9] has been used by us with some modifications in large mandibular lesions with gratifying results. This article presents our technique of employing the osteomucoperiosteal flap for unicystic ameloblastoma of the mandible.

   Materials and Methods Top

An informed consent was obtained from the patients and the study conformed to the ethical guidelines of the 1975 Declaration of Helsinki.

Case 1

A 13-year-old boy reported to the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Subharti Dental College, Meerut, in April 2005, with a large unilocular, radiolucent lesion that occupied most of the left mandibular ramus and coronoid process extending from the neck of the condyle to the left 1 st molar region. The lesion was well contained within the bone, with expansion of the lateral cortex but no clinical or radiological perforation of the bone. Associated with the lesion was an unerupted 2 nd molar. There was resorption of the distal root of the 1 st molar [Figure 1]a.

An incisional biopsy of the lesion revealed it to be a unicystic follicular ameloblastoma.
Figure 1: (a) Panoramic radiograph showing unilocular ameloblastoma of the left side of the mandible; (b) immediate post– operative; (c) 3 months post-operative; (d) 5 years post-operative

Click here to view

Case 2

A 28-year-old man reported to the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Subharti Dental College, Meerut, in October 2008, with a large, infected unilocular, radiolucent lesion of the right mandibular body, part of the ramus and extending almost to the coronoid area. Associated with the lesion was an unerupted 3 rd molar [Figure 2]a.
Figure 2: (a) Panoramic radiograph showing unilocular ameloblastoma of the right side of the mandible; (b) immediate post-operative; (c) 3 months post-operative

Click here to view

A provisional diagnosis of unicystic ameloblastoma was made which was histopathologically reported as follicular ameloblastoma.


Under general anesthesia , an intraoral incision was made through mucosal and submucosal tissue, leaving the periosteum undisturbed over the bone surface. A flap was developed in this plane and reflected beyond the maximum bulge of the lesion [Figure 3]a.
Figure 3: (a) Incision; (b) mucosal fl ap with osteoperiosteal incision; (c) refl ected osteoperiosteal flap by fracturing the inferior osseous portion of the flap; (d) placement of the osteoperiosteal flap into the cavity after removal of the tumor; (e) closure of the mucosal fl ap

Click here to view

The periosteum was then incised along the superior and anterior margins of the proposed osteotomy cut and reflected to about a centimeter from the bone. Careful undermining of this layer was done at the posterior margin in order to preserve continuity of the periosteum across the bony cut at this site. The osteotomy was then performed using a No. 8 round bur and a No. 701 fissure bur, keeping in mind that the lesion was not perforated and that the maximum bulk of the lesion was exposed [Figure 3]b.

The inferior edges of the anterior and posterior osteotomy cuts were placed just above the lower or posterior border of the mandible so as to facilitate a clean fracture at the inferior margin. An osteoperiosteal flap was then developed and hinged laterally to expose the cystic wall [Figure 3]c.

The lesion was then enucleated and the resultant surgical defect was treated with Carnoy's solution while preserving the inferior alveolar nerve. The osteoperiosteal flap was then infractured at the lower border by digital pressure so that the volume of the cavity was reduced [Figure 3]d.

Any discrepancy of crestal height of the medial and lateral cortices was adjusted by trimming and the lateral cortex was stabilized with wire osteosynthesis in our first case, while the lateral cortex was kept in collapsed position in our second case. The mucosa and periosteum were sutured at the superior margin as one layer with the lingual tissues to achieve a primary closure [Figure 3]e.

   Results Top

Postoperative recovery was uneventful and healing by primary intention occurred in both cases. The patients were closely followed up for early signs of infection, pathological fracture, bone resorption or recurrence of lesion. None of these complications occurred in both of the patients and radiological signs of bone regeneration and remodeling were appreciable within 3 months [Figure 2]b, c. During the follow-up period of 5 years for the first case, satisfying degree of bone architecture and good facial contour were achieved [Figure 1]b-d.

   Discussion Top

In the past, attempts have been made to reduce the size of the bony cavity with a variety of materials. [2-8] However, none of them was found to be successful in routine clinical practice. To overcome this, the pathologic cavity was managed by packing the defect or turning a mucosal flap into it and then packing with iodoform gauze. [10] Healing in these cases is slow and accompanied by increased morbidity.

Brosch [11] in 1957 exposed the entire buccal cortex beyond the full extent of the cyst. Decortication and removal of the lateral cortical plate was performed and the cyst was enucleated in toto. The adjacent tissues were collapsed into the defect to reduce the dead space. Brosch procedure was modified by Hillel Ephros et al.[12] in 1991 in which the large Odontogenic Keratocyst, the attached impacted mandibular 3 rd molar, entire coronoid process and lateral cortex of the posterior body and ramus were removed en bloc. Medial cortical bone in the areas of the perforation was removed, peripheral ostectomy was performed and the flap was sutured primarily.

Moose [13] used a muco-osteoperiosteal flap to reinforce the closure. Hong et al.[2] described a method for reducing the size of the cystic defect in which a muco-osteoperiosteal flap was developed and reflected by the removal of a strip of the mandible at the inferior aspect of the defect. After cystectomy, the dead space was obliterated by two means: firstly the space was implanted with bony chips obtained from the inferior aspect of the bony cavity and secondly by collapsing a muco-osteoperiosteal flap.

In 1991, Yung and Morita [9] described a technique of using an osteomucoperiosteal flap in the treatment of 13 cystic lesions which could obliterate large bony defects effectively. The advantages of this technique are that it 1) obliterates dead space and hence facilitates hemostasis; 2) facilitates healing and resists infection; 3) promotes bone regeneration; 4) preserves all vital tissues and 5) avoids the use of secondary grafting procedures.

It is a well-established fact that unicystic ameloblastomas involving the ramus of the mandible do not require resection and respond well to careful enucleation and chemical cauterization. [14] In a review by Samman and Lau, [14] it was found that large unicystic ameloblastomas are usually approached extraorally with decortication followed by enucleation and application of Carnoy's solution. The wound is then either closed primarily or packed with ribbon gauze to facilitate healing. Some of the problems that may occur with this procedure are hematoma formation and delayed healing, wound breakdown and infection, facial deformity and formation of a knife-edge ridge.

We have modified the technique for the large lesions involving the ramus and body region of the mandible by deliberately incising the periosteum at the superior and anterior margins so as to hinge the flap laterally without resistance. We find that it vastly improves access and visibility of the lesion which can then be easily enucleated. The second modification is to trim the superior margins to the same height, which prevents the development of a knife-edge ridge.

The rationale for our technique in which we used an osteoperiosteal flap was enucleation of the lesion with retention of the blood supply as the flap is pedicled. This facilitates healing and resists infection. Moreover, the flap has the potential for regeneration and obliterates the dead space. Also, it prevents collapse of the facial soft tissues and minimizes postoperative deformity. The sequential radiographs demonstrate early incorporation of the graft and complete filling of the defect by 3 months. At this time, there was normal trabecular pattern and normal facial contour with no signs of numbness of lips. At 5 years of follow-up in our first case, complete healing of bone was observed.

This technique is best suited for resection of the unilocular benign lesions in young individuals as the facial esthetics is better provided and chances of numbness of the lower lip are minimal with this technique. However, careful case selection and treatment planning is required, and patients with thinned out buccal cortex, and with the presence of aggressive lesions in which seeding of the tumor into the replaced bone is anticipated are excluded from this technique. Moreover, periosteal stripping and inadvertent fracturing of the buccal cortical plate is to be prevented for the success of the technique.

   Conclusion Top

We believe that these procedures can be the treatment of choice in such cases, especially with larger lesions, as these rapidly restore the patient's facial contour to normal as well as reduce the healing time. Larger studies need to be pursued to provide better evidence of its effectiveness.

   Acknowledgments Top

We sincerely thank Dr. Nikhil Srivastava, Principal, Subharti Dental College, and Dr. Susmita Saxena, Prof. and Head of the Department of Oral Pathology, Subharti Dental College, Meerut, for their valuable guidance and support.

   References Top

1.Van Doorn ME. Enucleation and primary closure of jaw cysts. Int J Oral Surg 1972;1:17.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Hong M, Wang NA, Yu J. Utilization of collapsed bone plate for the management of large mandibular cysts: Case report. J Chin Stomatol 1963;9:56.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Bahn SL. Plaster: A bone substitute. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol 1966;21:672.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Ferrari Parabita G, Derada Troletti G, Zanetti U.Use of calcium hydroxyapatite in oral and maxillofacial surgery: III, Treatment of voluminous cysts of the maxilla, surgical technique and presentation of cases. Minerva Stoamatol 1985;34:913-22.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Bailey BJ, Holt GR. Surgery of the mandible. New York, NY:Thieme;1987.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Campbell LP. Autogenous bone to repair mandibular cyst defects: Report of two cases. J Oral Surg 1965;23:265.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Marble HB. Homografts of freeze-dried bone in cystic defects of the jaws: A survey of ninety-one cases. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol 1968;26:118-23.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Hjorting-Hansen E, Quoted by Moore JR. Studies on implantation of An organic bone in cystic jaw lesions, Copenhagen, Denmark:Munksgeerd;1970.  Back to cited text no. 8
9.Yih WY, Morita V. A modified technique for obliteration of large bony defects after cystectomy. J Oral Maxillofac Surg 1991;49:689-92.  Back to cited text no. 9
10.Waite DE. Textbook of Practical Oral Surgery, Cysts of the Oral Cavity. 2 nd ed. Philadelphia, PA:Lea and Febiger;1978;335-8.  Back to cited text no. 10
11.Farmand M, Makek M. Late results following the Brosch Procedure for treating large mandibular cysts. J Max Fac Surg 1983;11:211-5.  Back to cited text no. 11
12.Ephros H, Lee HY. Treatment of a large Odontogenic Keratocyst using the Brosch Procedure. J Oral Maxillofac Surg 1991;49:871-4.  Back to cited text no. 12
13.Moose SM. Osteoperiosteal flap for operation of large tumors and cysts of the jaws. J Oral Surg 1952;10:229.  Back to cited text no. 13
14.Lau SL, Samman N. Recurrence related to treatment modalities of unicystic ameloblastoma: A systematic review. Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg 2006;35:681-90.  Back to cited text no. 14


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]

This article has been cited by
1 Role of Carnoy's solution as treatment adjunct in jaw lesions other than odontogenic keratocyst: a systematic review
B. Lal, R.D. Kumar, R. Alagarsamy, D. Shanmuga Sundaram, O. Bhutia, A. Roychoudhury
British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. 2021; 59(7): 729
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
2 Conservative management is effective in unicystic ameloblastoma occurring from the neonatal period: A case report and a literature review
Anne Morice, Cecilia Neiva, Monique Fabre, Paolo Spina, Fanélie Jouenne, Eva Galliani, Marie-Paule Vazquez, Arnaud Picard
Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology and Oral Radiology. 2020; 129(5): e234
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
3 Conservative Management of Unicystic Ameloblastoma in Young Patients: A Prospective Single-Center Trial and Review of Literature
Mitsu Meshram,Lalit Sagarka,Jigar Dhuvad,Sonal Anchlia,Siddharth Vyas,Harsh Shah
Journal of Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery. 2016;
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
4 Treatment of cystic lesion of mandible using combination of modified bone granules and calcium phosphate bone cement: A preliminary report
Richik Tripathi,Fahad M. Samadi,Sanjeev Kumar
Journal of Oral Biology and Craniofacial Research. 2015;
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
5 Management of ameloblastoma in the pediatric population
Sakeena J. Payne,Thomas W. Albert,Jessyka G. Lighthall
Operative Techniques in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. 2015; 26(3): 168
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
6 Unicystic ameloblastoma in children: systematic review of clinicopathological features and treatment outcomes
A. Seintou,C.P. Martinelli-Kläy,T. Lombardi
International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. 2014;
[Pubmed] | [DOI]


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

  In this article
    Materials and Me...
    Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded228    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 6    

Recommend this journal