Document Type : Research articles


1 Necmettin Erbakan University Dentistry Faculty, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Konya, Turkey

2 Necmettin Erbakan University Dentistry Faculty, Department of Prosthetic Dentistry, Konya, Turkey


Background: Vascular calcifications caused by atherosclerosis are frequently observed, especially in aortic and carotid arteries, with large and elastic characteristics. Early detection of calcification in these arteries can play an important role in reducing the clinical pathologies where atherosclerosis may cause, such as stroke and long-time disability.
Objectives: The aim of the present study was to determine the prevalence of calcified carotid artery plaques (CCAPs) on digital panoramic radiographs (DPR) and its association with gender, age, as well as 3 risk factors of cerebrovascular attack including hy- pertension, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes mellitus.
Materials and Methods: In this retrospective study, a total of 500 DPRs of subjects 45 years old and older (248 females and 252 males) were evaluated. All the subjects had been referred to the Faculty of Dentistry, Necmettin Erbakan University, Konya, Turkey, during 2014 - 2017 for a routine dental examination. Socio-demographic variables, as well as medical anamnesis, were obtained from the participants and medical records. The radiographs were grouped according to gender, age groups (45 - 60 years old and 61 years old and older), and associated risk factors (diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases).
Results: Of 500 DPRs, 243 (48.6%) were noted to have CCAPs. The 243 individuals who had CCAPs consisted of 119 males (49.0% of all males) and 124 females (51.0% of all females). Of the subjects aged 45 - 60 years old, 87 individuals (17.4%) showed carotid artery calcifications on their DPRs while 156 subjects (31.2%) aged 61 years old and older showed carotid calcification. There were significant differences between age groups, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, and the prevalence of CCAP, which increased (P < 0.01). As the associated risk factor increased, the prevalence of bilateral CCAP also increased (P < 0.01).
Conclusions: The existence of bilateral calcified carotid artery plaques on digital panoramic radiographs has a higher prevalence in the subjects who had at least two associated risk factors and older; however, their detection is important to orient the diagnosis and prevention of diseases in asymptomatic high-risk patients.