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Ameloblastoma : Intro & Clinical

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Ameloblastoma is a slow-growing but locally aggressive tumor that pursues a benign clinical course in most cases. It is the most common epithelial odontogenic tumor but still makes up only about 1% of tumors and cysts arising in the jaws.

Age group: It is usually seen between 3rd and 5th decades of life with no sex predilection. It is uncommon in the 10-19 year age group and is rare before the age of 10.

Site: Almost 80% of cases involve the mandible near 3rd molar-ascending ramus area. About 20% arise in the maxilla and may extend into the maxillary sinus.

Origin: The tumor can originate in the epithelial lining of a dentigerous cyst (20% of cases), from the remnants of dental lamina and enamel organ, or from the basal layer of oral mucosa.

Clinical Features: It presents as a slow but continuously growing painless mass at the angle of the mandible. Smaller lesions are asymptomatic and detected incidentally on imaging studies. If left untreated, it can cause severe disfigurement (as seen in this image). Pain and paresthesia are not a common feature even with large tumors.

Image courtesy of: Camazine - Own work, Used under Creative Commons BY Attribution 3.0 Unported License,

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