Purpose: To evaluate the variation in morphology of the TMJ condyles in orthopantomogram (OPG) images using the BoneFinder® software.
Material and methods: The study included radiographic assessment of 200 condyles from 100 digital OPGs. The outline of the condyles was computed using BoneFinder®. Statistical shape models were built to calculate the most prevalent shape as well as the variation in shape according to sex and side (right and left). A fully automatic BoneFinder® TMJ system to analyze the condyles in new, unseen images was generated and evaluated.
Results: The main mode of variation across all subjects was between an elongated oval shape and a flattened round condyle shape. The second mode of variation was between the condyle being crooked and showing a bulge. There was no significant correlation between any of the first five shape modes and either sex (using Pearson correlation analysis). The left and right condyles of an individual were highly symmetric. The fully automatic BoneFinder® system achieves high accuracy in automatically outlining the condyles in OPG images.
Conclusion: BoneFinder® may be a useful tool for the diagnosis and prognosis of various disorders involving the TMJ condyles.