BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Osteoporosis is a disease affecting more than 300 million people worldwide and is responsible for numerous medical complications. This study aimed to investigate the relation between skeletal and maxillary bone density.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Seventy-three patients were recruited and divided between group A (osteoporosis), group B (healthy, control), and group C (osteopenia) on the basis of a dual-energy x-ray absorptiomery (DXA) scan. These patients also received a CT scan on which bone density measurements were performed at five sites: maxilla midline, retromolar tuberosities, incisor, premolars, and molar regions.
RESULTS: The bone density was lower in osteoporotic patients compared with the control patients. The bone mineral density (BMD) of the tuberosities showed the strongest correlations with the BMD of the hip and the spine (respectively, r = 0.50 and r = 0.61). The midline region showed moderate correlations with the hip (r = 0.47) and the spine (r = 0.46). For potential implant sites, the correlations with the BMD of the hip and spine were, however, small to insignificant. Based on measurements of bone density of the maxilla, it was possible to predict if the patient was osteoporotic or not with a sensitivity of 65% and a specificity of 83%.
CONCLUSIONS: The maxillary bone density of subjects with osteoporosis is significantly lower than that of healthy patients. Moreover, there is a direct correlation between the density of the skeleton and the density of some sites of the maxilla. Using measurements of maxillary bone density in order to predict skeletal bone density might be a useful tool for the screening of osteoporosis.