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Osteosarcoma (osteogenic sarcoma) of the jaws presenting in general dental practice - a series of four cases


Introduction Osteosarcoma is the most common primary malignant bone tumour, usually arising in the long bones, with occurrence in the head and neck accounting for 8% of all osteosarcomas. Clinical features include swelling, pain, facial dysesthesia and abnormal mobility of teeth. Treatment consists of a combination of surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Case series Here, we present four cases of osteosarcoma of the jaws - two maxillary and two mandibular. All cases were initially assessed in the dental primary care setting before being referred for specialist opinion.

Discussion The purpose of this paper is to present an overview of an uncommon but serious disease which can mimic common life-threatening dento-facial conditions. We discuss the diagnostic features, with an overview of clinical, histopathological and radiographic features.

Conclusion These cases are important reminders of the potential clinical and radiographic appearance of a rare cause of facial swelling, and highlight the role of the general dental practitioner in early diagnosis and referral.

Key points

  • Educates dentists on various presentations of this aggressive cancer.

  • A series of four cases are described encountered in general dental practice, mimicking common orofacial pathology.

  • A brief literature review on osteosarcoma arising in the head and neck.

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Correspondence to Liam Costello.

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Costello, L., Toner, M., Pierse, D. et al. Osteosarcoma (osteogenic sarcoma) of the jaws presenting in general dental practice - a series of four cases. Br Dent J 230, 583–586 (2021).

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