2014 年 63 巻 4 号 p. 395-401
The articular disc in the temporomandibular joint plays an important role in mandibular growth. Functional appliances induce regeneration of the condyle even after condylectomy. The aim of this study was to examine the role of the articular disc in regeneration of the condyle after unilateral condylectomy with use of a functional appliance in growing rats. Fifty growing rats were subjected to unilateral condylectomy and then half of them underwent discectomy. The functional appliance was applied to half of the rats in each group to induce regeneration of the condyle. Four and eight weeks later, morphometric and histologic analyses of the mandible were performed. Regeneration of the condyle was demonstrated in the two condylectomy groups. In the condylectomy+appliance group, the shape and cartilage of the condyle were equivalent to a normal condyle. However, regeneration of the condyle was not observed in the two discectomy groups even with the use of the functional appliance. The articular disc appears to be crucial in the regeneration of a damaged condyle, suggesting that defects or damage to the articular disc may influence mandibular growth and regeneration or repair of the condyle.