MRI of Temporomandibular Joint Disorders

Edwin Y. Wang, MD; Kenneth A. Fleisher, DDS


Appl Radiol. 2008;37(9):17-25. 

In This Article


Approximately 10 million individuals in the United States are affected by temporomandibular joint (TMJ) abnormalities (National Institutes of Health data, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research).[1] The highest prevalence of temporomandibular disorders (TMD) is in women aged 20 to 40 years, with women representing 80% of patients being treated for TMD.[2,3] Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) plays an important role in the evaluation of TMD, as it allows for a noninvasive depiction of the joint that is not otherwise available. Moreover, clinical diagnosis of TMJ abnormalities can be challenging, particularly given the psychosocial factors that can be involved in pain disorders. The diagnostic accuracy of the clinical examination is variable, ranging from 54% to 90%.[4]


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