Definition: Mandibular fractures can occur singularly or as two fractures creating three segments of the mandible (this is referred to as a segmental fracture). For a reminder on the 4 radiographic features of fractures take a look at the trauma to teeth and jaws page.
Location: Most commonly at the angle of the mandible, neck of the ramus and anterior mandible. Frequently a fracture will be continuous with the periodontal ligament space of a tooth.
Shape: Can be linear or jagged. May not have a definitive shape.
Internal: Radiolucent when seen as a line, but can also be radiopaque when seen as two segments overlapping each other.
Number: May be single or multiple.
(click image to enlarge)
Single mandibular fracture
Segmental mandibular fracture
(Left ramus and right body of the mandible)
Note how the fracture lines are continuous with the periodontal ligament space.