Oral & Maxillofacial Radiology

An essential specialty of dentistry, oral and maxillofacial radiology involves the advanced selection, production and interpretation of radiographic images of the head, neck, teeth and jaws. This discipline focuses on the diagnosis and management of oral health conditions affecting the hard and soft tissues of the teeth and supporting structures. At Rutgers Health University Dental Associates, you can expect nothing but the highest quality care from our expert oral and maxillofacial radiologists at our Newark location.

Essential to Maintaining Oral Health

From routine examinations to diagnosing serious conditions, diagnostic imaging in dentistry takes a deeper look at the components of your mouth. This includes the inside of your teeth, bones, and other areas of concern in the orofacial region that are otherwise not visible. The information obtained from these tests help oral and maxillofacial radiologists to diagnose many issues, including:

  • Oral cancer
  • Dental decay
  • Nerve damage
  • Lesions in the bone
  • Periodontal disease
  • Infections of the jaw
  • Impacted or missing teeth

Types of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology Tests

There are two categories that these images, MRIs, CT scans and other tests within oral and maxillofacial radiology fall under. The first type, intraoral images, is the most common and shows different aspects of the teeth. These include:

Bite-wing Images

This type of radiograph utilizes a digital sensor, which is placed inside the mouth. Bitewing images are used to detect decay in the area where the teeth contact each other, as well as visualize periodontal bone loss, and assess the condition of restorations in your mouth.

Periapical Images

These are also taken with a sensor placed inside the mouth. Periapical images allow the visualization of several teeth, from the crown to the end of the root.  They are also useful for detecting decay, assessing bone levels, and visualizing infections found at the end of the root and in the surrounding bone.

Occlusal Images 

This type of radiograph provides your oral and maxillofacial radiologist with a larger view of your teeth and supporting structures to track the development and positioning of an arch of teeth, as well as localize and lesions that may be present in the teeth and bone.

Meanwhile, the other type, extraoral images, is reserved for certain circumstances and utilized to find oral health issues in the jaw and other areas of the head. These tests can include:

Cephalometric Projections

These examine the position of the teeth and the relationship of the jaws by taking an image from the side of the head, which is often necessary in orthodontics diagnosis.


This test begins with a dye being injected into the salivary glands and allows dentists to look for issues within the gland that could jeopardize the health of your entire mouth.

Panoramic Images

For a view of the entire mouth, including every tooth in the upper and lower jaw, your oral and maxillofacial radiologist may perform this type of imaging to interpret the positioning of your teeth, as well as detect tumors and emerging or impacted teeth.

Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) Images

These create 3D images of various components of the mouth, including dental structures, bone and the outlines of the soft tissues, so dentists can properly devise a plan for implanting teeth, treating cysts and tumors, performing endodontic therapy, and much more.

Trust Our Experts

At Rutgers Health University Dental Associates, our oral and maxillofacial radiologists are not just specializing in the use and interpretation of imaging. They are highly respected professors at the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine, who also treat patients, instruct students, and produce research. Thanks to their expertise and our state-of-the-art imaging equipment, we are able to accommodate even the most advanced types of oral and maxillofacial imaging. For more information on dental imaging and the other services we provide, contact us today and schedule an appointment.