Re: Cone beam scan vs. mri's - what 's the difference?
Is there anything from the other X-rays/CT's that makes you suspect you have bone loss?
X-rays of TMJ include panoramic, tomogram (series of images from different angles of TMJ's, older fan beam CT 2 dimensional, and newer cone beam CT ( 3 dimensional)
Some X-Rays are fancier than other but all pretty much give the same results, some just in more detail than others. For example, I have had all the above tests and all showed "normal" for my case.
However, if you do have bone loss in your condyles, these tests will pick up on it.
Notably, many people with bad TMJ problems come up as "normal" on any type of X-ray because they do not easily show changes in soft tissues. Especially those with muscular problems. Many with muscular problems have no bone loss but the disc is out of place, meaning that the muscles are locked in an unhappy position.
I would advise you to get an MRI which shows soft tissues and possible displacement around the disc. Get you TMJ dentist to give you a place to go. It is very important the facility be familiar w/ TMJ MRI's and have these things:
1) surface coils that go over the ears
2) highest resolution mri possible (3 tesla)
3) competent technicians that can open your mouth very wide for the open view
Again my experiences... I had to have the MRI done twice because one stupid dentist didn't tell me the correct facilities to go to.