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National Journal of Maxillofacial Surgery
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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 165-171

Radiological investigation of acute mandibular injury

Department of Radiology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Kevin Sheng
Department of Radiology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Macquarie University, Macquarie Park, Sydney, NSW 2109
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/njms.NJMS_27_19

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This article focuses on the different imaging modalities used to evaluate acute mandibular fractures and explores important concepts relating to their diagnosis, investigation, and treatment. Significant focus will be given to exploring general management principles, considerations regarding first-line imaging, and recent technological advancement. Computed tomography (CT) is the preferred method when attempting to identify acute mandibular fractures, particularly in trauma patients, and has very high specificity and sensitivity. Multidetector CT now represents the standard of care, enabling fast scan times, reduced artifact, accurate reconstructed views, and three-dimensional (3D) reconstructions. Cone-beam CT is a newer advanced imaging modality that is increasingly being used worldwide, particularly in the ambulatory and intraoperative setting. It produces high-resolution images with submillimeter isotropic voxels, 3D and multiplanar reconstruction, and low radiation dose, however is less widely available and more expensive. Ultrasound is a valuable method in identifying a fracture in unstable patients, but is limited in its ability to detect nondisplaced fractures. Magnetic resonance imaging is useful in determining the presence of soft-tissue injury. CT angiography is invaluable in the assessment of potential vascular injury in condylar fracture dislocations.

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