Date of Award

Spring 1999

Document Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Braun, Stan

Second Advisor

Bradley, T. G.

Third Advisor

Schuckit, William I.


Many methods have been used in the past to image the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This study explores the ability of ultrasound technology to image the TMJ. A Hewlett Packard Sonos 5500 ultrasound generator with an S12 probe was used. The penetration depth was set at 4 cm with a sampling frequency of 49 Hz. One TMJ from each of two male subjects with no previous history of TMJ dysfunction was imaged in opening and closing movements. Imaging was in a near-sagittal plane, being rotated from the true sagittal plane by approximately 25°. Each dynamic image was recorded on a VHS video tape, and subsequently transferred to an IBM-compatible computer for analysis. The condylar surface was traced on sequential still ultrasound images, with each image being overlaid on those that followed to give a composite tracing of the condylar movement. The brightest point on the condylar surface was also traced and followed throughout the opening movement. This point exhibited curvilinear motion. Strengths and weaknesses of using an ultrasonic imaging technique are explored. Preliminary conclusions concerning joint motion are drawn, and future applications of and possible future studies evaluating this technology are set forth.



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