Imaging of lesions within the maxilla and mandible is often fraught with difficulty owing to the similarity in the imaging appearance of a diverse array of pathological processes. Principally, lesions arise from either odontogenic sources or from primary bone lesions. The response of the cancellous and cortical bone to pathologic insult can be expressed either through an osteolytic or an osteoblastic response; thus the majority of lesions within the jaws can be classified as cystic or lytic appearing, sclerotic, or a mixture of the two. This article will review the imaging features of the most common cysts, fibro-osseous lesions, benign and malignant neoplasms, and highlight those features key to the differential diagnosis.
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