Mandibular Alveolar Fractures Workup

Updated: Aug 13, 2020
  • Author: William D Clark, MD, DDS; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Workup

Laboratory Studies

No lab studies are required to evaluate a fracture of the alveolar process of the mandible. Associated injuries are common and may require such studies.

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Imaging Studies

CT scanning has become the criterion standard for evaluating the mandible for fractures. In patients with multiple traumas, many emergency departments obtain near whole-body CT scans so that the needed information is available.

The panoramic dental radiograph was long the criterion standard for evaluating the mandible and is still an excellent alternative to and/or adjunct to CT scanning. It does offer the advantage of better evaluation of the teeth for injuries.

When the needed equipment is not available or the patient cannot be placed in the apparatus, plain radiographs of the mandible may be sufficient.

Periapical dental radiographs are often helpful in providing precise information about the status of teeth within a fractured segment of the alveolar process. Dental consultation is usually required to obtain these radiographs.

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