Original Publication
Open Access

Guide to the Diagnosis of Jaw Lesions According to Radiographic Manifestations

Published: March 13, 2014 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9731

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This stand-alone teaching module is designed to help oral radiology and oral pathology professors to teach maxillofacial diagnosis using an easy and effective approach. This resource also constitutes a great aid for dental students and young professionals when dealing with the radiographic differential diagnosis of maxillofacial lesions. This module reviews most of the maxillofacial complex conditions with radiographic manifestations. It uses hyperlinks to illustrate each case.

The radiographic diagnosis of the maxillofacial region is always difficult. The variety of maxillofacial lesions with radiographic manifestations makes imperative the use of a flow chart in order to facilitate the process of arriving to a differential radiographic diagnosis. The flow chart is by itself a great help for students. We have used the flow chart for more than twenty years with undergraduate and postgraduate dental students. It has been obvious that the users of the flow chart needed to visualize at least one example of the studied lesion in order to feel comfortable with the diagnosis. The flow chart by itself is too theoretical; the illustration of each manifestation adds an important dimension to the resource.

The addition of examples of each radiographic appearance, differential diagnoses and case illustrations was made recently, for the students to expand their understanding of radiographic manifestations and facilitate to reach a logical diagnosis. As a result of the evaluation of this work by students, a brief description for each case, as well as a number of radiographs were added. An important point made by the users, was that due to their poor experience in the field, they were not able to easily identify the location of the lesion and suggested to highlight it by means of color arrows.

With this interactive process, the students reach a diagnosis easier than before and enjoy the activity as well. It is user friendly and effective. This model can be applied to many other fields and to other specialties.

We have used this module in clinic-pathologic conferences, in radiology laboratories, in radiology and pathology clinics during training, individually in the clinic and also in class with a large number of students. Our experience is that in large groups, when everybody has an individual computer with the module, the students enjoy and play with the resource, opening different cases and making comments. When the module is used in large groups but everybody is focused in the same case, or when it is used individually or in small groups, the learning is even more effective.

Educational Objectives

  1. To facilitate the teaching of radiographic manifestations of the maxillofacial complex.
  2. To facilitate learning of radiographic lesions of the jaws.
  3. To simplify the diagnosis by grouping the lesions according to the radiographic manifestations and giving differential diagnosis.
  4. To simplify the radiographic diagnosis in the dental office.

Author Information

  • Ines Velez, DDS, MS: Nova Southeastern University
  • Luis Tamara, MD: Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center
  • Maritzabel Hogge: Nova Southeastern University
  • Tulia Gonzalez: Nova Southeastern University

None to report.

None to report.


  1. White SC, Pharoah M. Oral Radiology Principles and Interpretation. Elsevier 2008. 656 pages 
  2. Damm DD, Bouquot JE, Neville BW. Oral and maxillofacial Pathology. 3rd Ed. Saunders 2009. 968 pages 
  3. Mrax, Stern. Oral and maxillorfacial Pathology. Quintessence. Second edition. 2012. 980 pages


Velez I, Tamara L, Hogge M, Gonzalez T. Guide to the diagnosis of jaw lesions according to radiographic manifestations. MedEdPORTAL. 2014;10:9731. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9731