What's the Best Type of Scan to Get for Clearly Seeing Facial Bone Structure?

Doctors cant seem to agree what part of my facial bone structure is causing my facial asymmetry. One says my left deficient cheekbone is causing the soft tissue on the left side to "go funny" when I smile, another doc says that it's actually the left side of my upper jaw/hard palate that is causing the cheekbone on the left to appear deficient and causing all the issues and needs expansion. Would an x-ray show my bone structure clearly enough so we can see once & for all what the issues are?

Doctor Answers 4

Best scan for seeing facial bone structure

A CAT scan is the best 3-dimensional x-ray that will show the bony structure of the face.  This CAT scan can be performed through a coronal or sagittal or axial views through the face and can give a 3-dimensional facial study.

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

3-D Scan and Model Of Facial Bone Structure

If you want to positively and without equivocation determine your facial bone structure, get a 3-D CT craniofacial scan. That can even be turned into an exact 3-D model of your facial bones that you can hold in your hand. Once you hold your own face in your hands, your answers will become clear.

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

What's the Best Type of Scan to Get for Clearly Seeing Facial Bone Structure?

 Aesthetically speaking this should be able to be determined by looking at and examining your cheeks IMHO.  However there are 3-D versions of CT scans that are available that will show all of these areas.  these are used often in cosmetic dentists offices.  Hope this helps.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

CT scan is best for bone detail

This may or may not be covered by your insurance.  


Some ENT/facial plastics and also some OMFS surgeons have CT scanners in office that may be more cost effective if you have to pay out of pocket.  


Plain films of the face or a panorex will not be as helpful in the evaluation of the site of your bony asymmetry.

I would consider another opinion to see if you can get a 2 out 3 consensus.


Michael Bowman, MD
Roanoke Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.