2Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Oral Pathology, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex, Ile‑Ife, Nigeria,
3Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Faculty of Dentistry, University of the Western Cape, Tygerberg Hospital
4Department of Medicine, Division of Dermatology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Groote Schuur Hospital, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Introduction: Despite the large number of published studies on indications for biopsy during investigation of adult oral and maxillofacial pathologies, there is a dearth of literature focusing on biopsies for pediatric orofacial pathologies (particularly in sub-Saharan Africa). Objectives: Hence, this study analysed data on maxillofacial pediatric lesions from the surgical pathology archives of the Oral Maxillofacial surgery/Oral pathology unit of Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. Method: Data was collected over a ten year period (2007-2016). Result: From a total of 790 biopsies recorded within the study period, only 105 (13.3%) were found to be pediatric cases. Lesions such as ameloblastoma (24%), benign bone pathologies (25%), hyperplastic reactive lesions (22%) and primary oro-facial malignancies (6%), were found within the 105 pediatric cases. Lesions tended to occur more in the mixed dentition to permanent dentition, than primary dentition age groups. A female preponderance in frequency of lesions was also observed in our study. The commonest nonodontogenic tumor was found to be fibrous dysplasia, while pyogenic granuloma was the most prevalent hyperplastic reactive lesions. Lymphangioma and Heck’s disease were the commonest soft tissue tumours, and mucous extravasation phenomenon was equally the most frequent salivary gland lesion. Malignancies were found to be rare in pediatric age groups. Overall, we compared our findings to previously published literature on pediatric biopsies. Conclusion: We are hopeful that the knowledge provided in this study, may assist general dental practitioners, oral pathologists, and pediatric dentists in sub Saharan Africa in making precise diagnostic and management decisions.