Mandibular Body Fractures Workup

Updated: Nov 05, 2018
  • Author: Jose E Barrera, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Imaging Studies

See the list below:

  • CT scanning and plain radiography, including panoramic, lateral-oblique, posteroanterior, occlusal, and periapical views, may be helpful. However, the single most informative radiologic study used in mandibular fracture diagnosis is panoramic radiography.

  • Panorex provides the ability to view the entire mandible in one radiograph. However, it requires an upright patient, and it lacks fine detail in the TMJ, symphysis, and dental/alveolar process regions.

  • Plain radiography may be helpful.

    • The lateral-oblique view helps diagnose ramus, angle, or posterior body fractures. The condyle, bicuspid, and symphysis regions are often unclear.

    • Mandibular occlusal views demonstrate discrepancies in the medial and lateral position of body fractures.

    • Caldwell posteroanterior views demonstrate any medial or lateral displacement of ramus, angle, body, or symphysis fractures.

  • CT scanning also may be helpful in assessment of facial fractures.

    • CT scanning allows physicians to survey for facial fractures in other areas, including the frontal bone, naso-ethmoid-orbital complex, orbits, and the entire craniofacial horizontal and vertical buttress systems.

    • Reconstructions of the facial skeleton are often helpful in conceptualizing the injury.

    • CT scanning is also ideal for condylar fractures, which are difficult to visualize.