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Oral & Maxillofacial Imaging Center

Welcome to the Oral and Maxillofacial Imaging Center at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry.  We are pleased to provide a wide range of radiographic services for your patients. 

We offer 2- and 3-dimensional volumetric cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) to assist you in selecting sites for implants, and we can work with you to provide the proper imaging format needed for construction of surgical templates.

CBCT can also provide information needed for diagnosing abnormalities of the TMJ, planning treatment for dental extractions and other surgery, or visualizing other abnormalities in the maxillofacial complex. 

CBCT Service

All CBCT procedures include a written report by a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology.

If you provide CBCT images in your practice, we will be happy to interpret your cases and generate a report. Simply mail a CD with the scan data and we will do the rest for you.

Other radiographic services 

In addition to CBCT, we offer other radiographic services including intraoral, panoramic, cephalometric and other planar skull projections. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the services we offer.

More about our Imaging Services

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    Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT)

    CBCT provides valuable information to dentists in many diagnostic tasks because it provides the third dimension that is missing from conventional dental radiographs.  This permits the dentist to evaluate not only the height and mesial-distal dimension in the jaws, but also the facial-lingual aspect that is essential in planning implant placement.  It also permits an examination of the bony components of the temporomandibular joint without the problems of distortion and superimposition or other structures. 

    CBCT is similar to conventional computed tomography (CT).  But in many ways, CBCT is superior to CT:

    • The radiation dose is much lower: The effective dose to the patient receiving a CBCT is approximately equal to a full mouth intraoral radiographic series or a combination of a panoramic and 4 bitewing radiographs.
    • The scan time is usually 9 seconds: This compares favorably to the much longer scan times involved with CT.
    • The spatial resolution is better: With smaller voxels than in most CT scans, the CBCT image provides better detail of bony structures.
    • CBCT is more comfortable:  The patient sits upright in an open environment with our CBCT scanner, unlike the confining “tube” of the hospital CT.
    • CBCT is performed and interpreted by dentists: We know what you are looking for when you refer your patients to our facility.  By comparison, CT is a medical procedure for medical needs, interpreted by physicians.  If you have questions, just call us and we can address them.
    • Appointments can be made at convenient times: We can usually accommodate your patients within a week of the patient’s phone call requesting an appointment. 

    We provide written reports for all CBCT scans along with reformatted radiographs of the areas of interest. We can also create a CD with the entire scan data and viewing software upon request.   

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    Orthodontic Radiographs

    The Imaging Center provides planar skull projections for orthodontic diagnosis and treatment planning. We offer posterior-anterior and lateral cephalometric radiographs, panoramic projections, and hand-wrist images (if needed), as well as other skull projections such as Waters and Reverse Towne radiographs. All projections are made with a direct digital radiographic system for excellent spatial and contrast resolution.

About us

James R. Geist, DDS, MS

Jim GeistJames R. Geist, DDS, MS, Professor in the Department of Biomedical and Diagnostic Sciences at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry, earned a DDS from the University of Illinois and a MS in Oral Pathology from Indiana University. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology and a Fellow of the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology.  He is a past president of the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology and the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology.  Dr. Geist teaches courses in radiology and pathology at UDM and is a consultant at the Veterans Administration Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of Michigan.  He has made many presentations on radiology and CBCT both nationally and internationally.  Dr. Geist has received the President's Award for Faculty Excellence and has been selected Outstanding Instructor 15 times by dental and dental hygiene classes.  He serves as Director of the Oral and Maxillofacial Imaging Center at the University. 

Ashok Balasundaram, BDS, MS, DDS

Dr. BalasundaramAshok Balasundaram, BDS, MS, DDS, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical and Diagnostic Sciences. He is a graduate of Saveetha Dental College and Hospital, and completed an advanced program in Oral Pathology at Ragas Dental College. Dr. Balasundaram earned a MS in Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology at the University of North Carolina. He then earned a DDS degree at UDM in 2006. He has conducted research into the use of cone-beam CT in detection of periodontal bone defects and in the diagnosis and management of periapical inflammatory lesions.

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