To determine the relative frequency of central odontogenic tumors in relation to all biopsy specimens and to one another in an oral pathology biopsy service and to compare the data with previous studies from different parts of the world.
Files from the Pacific Oral Pathology Laboratory of the University of the Pacific, San Francisco, CA served as a source of material for this study. Files were systematically searched for all cases of central (intraosseous) odontogenic tumors during a 20-year period.
Central odontogenic tumors were identified in 1,088 (1.2%) cases out of the 91,178 accessed. Individually, of all odontogenic tumors, 75.9% were odontomas. The prevalence of the remaining tumors appears to be a rare occurrence. The second most common was ameloblastoma (11.7%), followed by odontogenic myxoma (2.2%). Odontomas are considered hamartomas or developmental anomalies. When excluded from the list of individual odontogenic tumors, ameloblastoma is the most common (48.5%), followed by odontogenic myxoma (9.2%), adenomatoid odontogenic tumor (7.3%), ameloblastic fibro-odontoma (7.3%), ameloblastic fibroma (6.5%), calcifying odontogenic cyst (6.5%), and odontogenic fibroma (6.1%). Each remaining tumor comprises less than 4%.
Studies related to the relative frequency of individual odontogenic tumors from different parts of the world are difficult to compare because most studies are outdated, the list of tumors is limited, and new entities are not included. To determine the real relative frequency, further studies should be conducted, especially in Western societies, by experienced pathologists in the field of odontogenic tumors.