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: 1848  Print this pageEmail this pageSmall font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size 

 Table of Contents  
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 398-401  

Non syndromic unilateral dentigerous cyst in a 4-year-old child: A rare case report

Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Sri Siddhartha Dental College and Hospital, BH Road, Agalakote, Tumkur, Karnataka, India

Date of Web Publication13-Jan-2012

Correspondence Address:
T N Tilakraj
Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Sri Siddhartha Dental College and Hospital, BH Road, Agalakote, Tumkur - 572 107, Karnataka
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0976-237X.91813

Rights and Permissions

Dentigerous cyst is the most prevalent type of odontogenic cyst and is associated with crown of an unerupted or a developing tooth and accounts more than 24% of jaw cysts. Here, we present an interesting case of dentigerous cyst in a 4-year-old boy, which developed around an unerupted maxillary first premolar. Histological examination revealed a cyst with 1-2-cell-thick epithelial lining and presence of inflammatory cells in the connective tissue.

Keywords: Dentigerous cysts, enucleation, infected primary tooth, odontogenic cyst

How to cite this article:
Tilakraj T N, Kiran N K, Mukunda K S, Rao S. Non syndromic unilateral dentigerous cyst in a 4-year-old child: A rare case report. Contemp Clin Dent 2011;2:398-401

How to cite this URL:
Tilakraj T N, Kiran N K, Mukunda K S, Rao S. Non syndromic unilateral dentigerous cyst in a 4-year-old child: A rare case report. Contemp Clin Dent [serial online] 2011 [cited 2022 Nov 29];2:398-401. Available from:

   Introduction Top

Kramer has defined cyst as pathological cavity having fluid, semi-fluid, or gaseous contents, and is not created by accumulation of pus. [1],[2] Dentigerous cyst is the second most common odontogenic cyst after radicular cyst. They account for approximately 24% of all the true cysts in the jaws. [3],[4] Dentigerous cyst is formed by the accumulation of fluid between the reduced enamel epithelium and the crown, with consequent expansion of the tooth follicle, and is characteristically attached to the cervical area of the tooth. [5]

Dentigerous cysts involve impacted, unerupted, permanent teeth, supernumerary teeth, and odontomas, and rarely may involve deciduous teeth. [3] They are more common in second and third decades of life and are rare in the first decade.

The aim of the present article is to report a rare case of dentigerous cyst in a child patient with primary dentition, involving unerupted maxillary first premolar.

   Case Report Top

A 4-year-old boy reported to the Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry with a chief complaint of painless swelling in the upper jaw from past 15 days.

Extra oral examination revealed the presence of hard and well-defined swelling in the right middle third of the face, approximately 2 cm below the ala tragal line [Figure 1]. On intraoral examination, a firm swelling was found on the upper right region, extending along the buccal vestibule from the first primary molar to the second primary molar. The right maxillary first primary molar was found to be grossly carious with grade III mobility.
Figure 1: Extraoral swelling

Click here to view

Intraoral periapical (IOPA) radiograph revealed pulp involvement and perforation of floor of the pulp chamber in 54. A well-defined radiolucency measuring 1 × 1 cm around the palatal root was noticed [Figure 2]. Panoramic radiograph [Figure 3] revealed the presence of a large translucent unilocular area with well-defined margins in the maxillary right side and unerupted maxillary premolar and canine. Paranasal sinus (PNS) radiograph [Figure 4] showed canine and premolar pushed into the maxillary space compared to the other side.
Figure 2: Intraoral periapical radiograph showing radiolucency around the palatal root of 54

Click here to view
Figure 3: Panoramic radiograph

Click here to view
Figure 4: Paranasal sinus radiograph

Click here to view

On the first visit, fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) was done and the carious tooth (54) was extracted. The FNAC report was suggestive of cystic aspirate with inflammatory cells. Incisional biopsy was also done and the specimen was sent for histopathologic examination. The cyst was lined by non-keratinized stratified squamous epithelium which was 1-2 cell layer thick with prominent intercellular bridges indicating epithelium derived from reduced enamel epithelium. A definitive diagnosis of dentigerous cyst could be made.

The patient was referred to the Department of Oral Surgery and the opinion from the Department of Pediatrics and Anesthesia was obtained before planning out the procedure under general anesthesia. The necessary blood investigations were carried out. Surgical removal of the cyst (enucleation) was planned under general anesthesia. Crevicular incision was placed from 51 to 55 along with two vertical releasing incisions extending on to the buccal sulcus. The flap was raised using periosteal elevator [Figure 5]. A window in the bone was created and the cystic lining was eased off along with the first premolar with help of curette. Macroscopically the lesion was found attached to the neck of the tooth [Figure 6]. The surgical site was sutured [Figure 7].
Figure 5: The fl ap was raised

Click here to view
Figure 6: Cystic lesion after enucleation

Click here to view
Figure 7: Post-op photograph

Click here to view

The specimen was sent for histopathologic examination and the histopathologic report showed connective tissue stroma which was thick, myxomatous, fibrous, and fibrillar in some areas. The connective tissue was infiltrated with chronic inflammatory cells. Cystic lining showed epithelium of 1-2 cell thickness overlying the connective tissue stroma. The features were suggestive of inflammatory dentigerous cyst [Figure 8].
Figure 8: Photomicrograph of dentigerous cyst (H and E, Original magnifi cation ×40)

Click here to view

After one week the patient was recalled for suture removal, the healing of the surgical site was uneventful [Figure 9]. The future treatment protocol decided by the Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry was periodic recall and review of the patient and posterior tooth replacement. Future treatment can be planned, once all the permanent teeth erupt where either fixed prosthesis or implant can be placed.
Figure 9: Postoperative after one week

Click here to view

   Discussion Top

Dentigerous cysts are the most common developmental cysts with a frequency of 1.44 per 100 unerupted teeth. [6] Our case is considered to be rare because in the period of primary dentition it is the eruption cyst which is commonly seen and not the dentigerous cyst. [7] Mandibular molar area is the most common site of involvement, whereas if maxilla is involved the anterior region is the most common area.Three radiological variations of the dentigerous cysts are observed: [1] Central variety, circumferential variety, and lateral type. In our case, it was of the central envelopmental variety in which the entire tooth appeared to be enveloped by cyst.

It is very important in diagnosis that a dilated follicle is distinguished from a small dentigerous cyst. While a normal follicular space is 3-4 mm, a dentigerous cyst can be suspected if the space is more than 5 mm.There are two types of dentigerous cysts reported in the literature: developmental and inflammatory types. The developmental type of dentigerous cyst is formed around the crown of an unerupted tooth by accumulation of fluid between the reduced enamel epithelium. [1]

The origin of inflammatory type of dentigerous cyst is thought to be from the overlying non-vital necrotic deciduous tooth. [8] The resultant periapical inflammation spreads to involve the follicle of the unerupted permanent successor; an inflammatory exudate ensues and results in dentigerous cyst formation as seen in our case where the first primary molar on the right side was found to be grossly carious. There are two basic surgical procedures, namely, marsupialization (decompression) and enucleation. Marsupialization, a comparatively simple procedure, consists of surgically producing a "window" in the cystic wall to relieve intracystic tension. The notable disadvantages of the technique are: (a) it is a two-stage surgical procedure; (b) pathological tissue is left behind and a more sinister pathological process (i.e. squamous cell carcinoma) may be overlooked; and (c) in a large cystic cavity, it takes a long period of time for the bone to regenerate. [7]

Enucleation with primary closure was the treatment of choice in our case [9] as the cyst was very small and it was of central variety where the crown was completely enclosed by the cystic lesion. Enucleation without bone grafting was done to the patient because of the smaller diameter of the cyst. Patients with cystic lesions of the jaws following surgery should be followed up through yearly panoramic radiograph, at least up to full bony regeneration of the affected area. Prosthesis to replace the missing tooth is a requirement to prevent over eruption of the opposing tooth or drifting of the adjacent teeth. [10]

   Conclusion Top

Though dentigerous cyst is very uncommon in pediatric patients, we should do thorough investigation to rule out dentigerous cyst when children come with swelling during primary or mixed dentition period, and if possible, the tooth should be saved.

   References Top

1.Shear M. Dentigerous cyst. In: Shear M, editor. Cysts of the oral regions. Mumbai: Varghese Publishing House; reprinted in 1996; originally published in 1992.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Kumar N, Devi R, Vanaki S, Puranik RS. Dentigerous Cyst Occurring in Maxilla Associated with Supernumerary Tooth Showing Cholesterol Clefts-A Case Report. Int J Dent Clin 2010;2:39-4.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Kumar S, Charantimath S, Byakodi R, RS Shwetha. Non syndromic bilateral mandibular dentigerous cysts in a 7 year old child- report of a rare case. Int J Contemp Dent 2011;2:101-4.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Yamalik K, Bozkaya S, Erkmen E. Non syndromic Bilateral Mandibular Dentigerous Cysts: Report of a Rare Case. Turkiye Klinikleri J Dental Sci 2007; 13:129-34.   Back to cited text no. 4
5.Mahajan S, Raj V, Boaz K. Non - Syndromic bilateral dentigerous cysts of mandibular premolars: A rare case and review of literature. Hong Kong Dent J 2006;3:129-33.   Back to cited text no. 5
6.Benn A, Altini M. Dentigerous cyst of inflammatory origin. Oral Surgery Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol 1996;81:203  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Bodner L. Cystic lesions of the jaws in children. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 2002;62:25-9.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Shaw W, Smith M, Hill F. Inflammatory follicular cysts. ASDC J Dent Child 1980;47:97-101  Back to cited text no. 8
9.Van Doorm ME. Enucleation and primary closure of jaw cysts. Int J Oral Surg 1972;1:17-25.  Back to cited text no. 9
10.Mathewson RJ, Primosch RE. Prosthodontics. In: Fundamentals Of Pediatric Dentistry. 3 rd ed. Missouri: Quintessence Publishing Co.; 1995. p. 352-71.  Back to cited text no. 10


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5], [Figure 6], [Figure 7], [Figure 8], [Figure 9]

This article has been cited by
1 Treatment of Inflammatory Dentigerous Cyst Using a Surgical T Drain in a Child
Antonella Lešin, Ivan Galic, Antonija Tadin, Katarina Vilovic, Daniel Jerkovic
European Journal of Dentistry. 2022;
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
2 Endoscopic management of a giant dentigerous cyst
Vinay Raj Thattarakkal, Prasanna Kumar Saravanam, Jinoraj Rajan
BMJ Case Reports. 2021; 14(2): e240070
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
3 Dentigerous Cyst in the Maxillary Anterior Region of a Pediatric Patient
Nivethitha Nagarajan, Sadaksharam Jayachandran, Vidya Jayaram, Aarthi Nisha
Annals of the National Academy of Medical Sciences (India). 2021; 57(01): 58
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
4 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]
5 Conservative Treatment of Dentigerous Cyst Favoring the Normal Eruption of the Involved Teeth
Monika Rohilla, Saumil Mogre, Heena Sarangal
Journal of South Asian Association of Pediatric Dentistry. 2019; 2(1): 22
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
6 Value of Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Diagnosis of Dentigerous Cyst
Antonione Santos Bezerra Pinto,André Luiz Ferreira Costa,Neiandro dos Santos Galvão,Thásia Luiz Dias Ferreira,Sérgio Lúcio Pereira de Castro Lopes
Case Reports in Dentistry. 2016; 2016: 1
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
7 Diagnostic ability of cone beam computed tomography in the management of dentigerous cysts
Ch. Sai Kiran,P. Ramaswamy,G. Vanya Mahitha,B. Smitha,G. Hema,A. Satish
international journal of stomatology & occlusion medicine. 2015; 8(4): 105
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
8 Conservative management of dentigerous cyst in a child
Emeline das Neves de Araújo Lima,Conceição Aparecida Dornelas Montei Maia,Alberto Costa Gurgel,Patrícia Teixeira de Oliveira,Ana Miryam Costa de Medeiros
International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology Extra. 2013; 8(1): e1
[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
   Case Report
    Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded283    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 8    

Recommend this journal