Which imaging studies are indicated in the workup of TMJ syndrome?

Updated: Jun 02, 2020
  • Author: Vivian Tsai, MD, MPH, FACEP; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Imaging studies generally are not indicated in the emergency department, unless a fracture is suspected. Considerations are as follows:

  • Panorex may show a fracture, evidence of osteoarthritis, or displacement of the articular disk; Ahn et al demonstrated that Panorex films can also be effective in evaluating patients with internal derangement of the TMJ [9]

  • Plain radiographs may demonstrate resting and hinge movement of the TMJ

  • CT scan may reveal greater detail of bones than radiographs alone

  • MRI is the test of choice when looking for disk displacement or pathology

For more information, see Imaging of Meniscus Abnormalities in the Temporomandibular Joint.

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