Tomography of the temporomandibular joints

CBCT of the temporomandibular joints (TMJs) is a specialized X-ray imaging procedure that captures detailed, cross-sectional 3D images of the temporomandibular joints, which are the joints connecting the mandible (lower jaw) to the temporal bones of the skull.

This advanced imaging method provides a clear 3D visualization of the bony structures which can be used to assess the position, anatomy, and morphology of the condyles (rounded projections at the end of the mandible that articulate with the temporal bone) and identify any degenerative changes, fractures, or other bony pathologies within the joints. It is an invaluable tool for diagnosing and planning treatments for various TMJ disorders.

Use cases:

  • Diagnosis of TMJ Disorders: While many TMJ disorders involve soft tissue (like the articular disc), CBCT can identify bony changes that might be related to the disorder.
  • Trauma Evaluation: To check for fractures or dislocations within the TMJ after trauma.
  • Pre-surgical Planning: For surgeries involving the TMJ or adjacent areas.
  • Assessment of Arthritis: To identify degenerative changes associated with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Anatomical Variations: To study the anatomy of the joint, especially in cases of congenital or developmental disorders.

Advantages:

  • Detailed 3D Images: CBCT offers a comprehensive view of the TMJ, which can be rotated and viewed from various angles, aiding in better diagnosis.
  • Lower Radiation Exposure: When compared to traditional CT scans, CBCT exposes the patient to a lower dose of radiation.
  • Efficiency: The scan is quick when compared to older methods and technologies.

FAQ

When should it be performed?

Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) of the temporomandibular joints (TMJs) should be performed when detailed visualization of the TMJ anatomy and associated pathologies is deemed essential. Here are situations when a CBCT of the TMJs might be recommended:

  1. Suspected TMJ Disorders: For patients presenting with pain, clicking, locking, or other dysfunctions of the TMJs that can't be adequately diagnosed with conventional X-rays or clinical evaluation alone.
  2. Osteoarthritis or Degenerative Joint Disease: When there's suspicion or clinical signs of degenerative changes, such as bony spurs, erosions, or sclerosis of the TMJ.
  3. Trauma: Following accidents or injuries involving the jaw, face, or head to assess for potential fractures or other injuries to the TMJ.
  4. Disc Displacement: While soft tissue visualization (like the articular disc) is limited with CBCT, in the context of suspected disc displacement, the scan can show secondary bony changes or confirm the displacement in conjunction with clinical symptoms.
  5. Developmental or Congenital Abnormalities: For evaluating conditions like ankylosis (fusion of the joint), hypoplasia (underdevelopment), or hyperplasia (overdevelopment) of the joint components.
  6. Pre-surgical Assessment: Before undertaking surgical procedures involving the TMJ, such as joint replacement or repair of fractures, to understand the anatomy and pathology in detail.
  7. Post-surgical Evaluation: After surgical interventions on the TMJ to assess the outcomes, alignment, and any potential complications.
  8. Tumors or Growths: If there's a suspicion of benign or malignant growths involving the TMJ or adjacent areas.
  9. Persistent Pain: When a patient experiences unexplained or persistent pain in the TMJ region that hasn't been diagnosed through conventional means.
  10. Systemic Arthritic Conditions: For patients with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis that can affect the TMJs, especially when symptoms manifest in the jaw region.

How does the procedure look like?

The procedure is non-invasive and painless:

  • The patient is asked to remove anything that may interfere with the imaging, including metal objects, such as jewelry, eyeglasses or hearing aids.
  • The patient either sits or stands in the CBCT machine.
  • The patient must remain still during the scan to ensure image clarity. As the scanner rotates around the patient's head, it captures multiple images from various angles, which are then reconstructed into a 3D model.

Do I need to prepare for the procedure?
No special preparation is required. However, you'll be asked to remove any metal objects like glasses, earrings, and necklaces. If you have dental appliances or dentures, you might need to remove them as well.

When will I get my results?
Shortly after each examination we will send the results via email to you and/or to your doctor's email address listed on the referral. Additionally we can provide the results on a CD or Pendrive.

Is it safe to have a Computed Tomography during pregnancy?
Always inform your dentist or technician if you're pregnant or suspect you might be. While the radiation dose is low, it's a general practice to avoid any unnecessary exposure to it during pregnancy.

Is there an age limit for Computed Tomography?

No, there isn't an age-specific limit. Computed Tomography can be beneficial for both children and adults, depending on the medical concern.

Always consult with your doctor for specific details and any further queries related to Tomography of the temporomandibular joints or any other medical procedure.


Price

180 - 300 zł

Duration of the examination

until 30 second

Referral

Required

Radiation intensity

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3-20 hours flight
The radiation dose during the examination is minimal (20-150 µSv). To put it in perspective, it is equivalent to a 3-20 hours flight.
(for each service, please keep the hours of flying from polish version)