Cone-beam computed tomography evaluation of maxillary sinusitis

Michelle Maillet, Walter R Bowles, Scott B McClanahan, Mike T John, Mansur Ahmad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

148 Scopus citations


Introduction: Dental pain originating from the maxillary sinuses can pose a diagnostic problem. Periapical lesion development eliciting inflammatory changes in the mucosal lining can cause the development of a sinusitis. The purpose of this study was to describe the radiographic characteristics of odontogenic maxillary sinusitis as seen on cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) scans and to determine whether any tooth or any tooth root was more frequently associated with this disease. Methods: Eighty-two CBCT scans previously identified as showing maxillary sinus pathosis were examined for sinusitis of odontogenic origin in both maxillary sinuses. Results: One hundred thirty-five maxillary sinusitis instances with possible odontogenic origin were detected. Of these, 37 sinusitis occurrences were from nonodontogenic causes, whereas 98 instances were tooth associated with some change in the integrity of the maxillary sinus floor. The average amount of mucosal thickening among the sinusitis cases was 7.4 mm. Maxillary first and second molars were 11 times more likely to be involved than premolars, whereas either molar was equally likely to be involved. The root most frequently associated with odontogenic sinusitis is the palatal root of the first molar followed by the mesiobuccal root of the second molar. Conclusions: Changes in the maxillary sinuses appear associated with periapical pathology in greater than 50% of the cases. Maxillary first or second molar teeth are most often involved, and individual or multiple roots may be implicated in the sinusitis. The use of CBCT scans can provide the identification of changes in the maxillary sinus and potential causes of the sinusitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)753-757
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Endodontics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • Cone-beam computed tomography
  • odontogenic sinusitis
  • root apex


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