Midface fracture diagnosis: indication of the occipitomental radiograph (Waters’ view) with maximum mouth opening


  • Bruno Felipe Gaia
  • Cheong Kuo Cheng
  • André Takahashi
  • Elio Hitoshi Shinohara


Facial trauma, Radiology, diagnosis


Purpose: This paper reviews the advantages and limitations of the occipitomental view (Waters) with maximum mouth opening for the diagnosis of midfacial fractures. Case description: The diagnosis of facial fractures is supported by radiographic techniques after an accurate clinical exam. In Accident & Emergency departments (A&E) four or five radiographs often are taken, which increases clinical time, costs, and radiation exposure. The most used radiographic view is the occipitomental view (OM), which was first described for facial sinus and allows evaluation of the orbital floor, zigomatic processes, buttress, and arches. Recent literature has suggested the use of the OM view as a single radiographic exam for initial patient screening, reducing radiation exposure, clinical time, and costs without compromising the identification of midfacial fractures. However, the Water’s technique generates bone image superimposition at the inferior midface, preventing perfect visualization of this region. Conclusion: We indicate a modified Water’s view taken with maximum mouth opening, which allows proper evaluation of the inferior midface and the visualization of transversal palatal fractures. Key words: Facial trauma; radiology; diagnosis




Case Report