We studied the radiologic and pathologic changes in 30 patients (34 joints) in which there were locally destructive bone and soft-tissue complications associated with previously inserted permanent temporomandibular joint (TMJ) Proplast-Teflon implants. The cases were selected as representative examples of patients with failed Proplast interpositional arthroplasty, in whom images of the TMJ were obtained with conventional radiography, tomography, and MR, and in whom both surgical and histologic findings were available. Clinical indications for imaging included joint pain, restricted joint motion, crepitus, preauricular swelling, regional lymphadenopathy, malocclusion either acquired or changed since implant surgery, and facial deformity. Surgery was then performed for the purposes of implant retrieval and joint debridement because of destructive soft-tissue and osseous changes observed from the imaging analysis in conjunction with significant clinical signs and symptoms. The pathologic changes, observed 4-54 months after implant surgery, included a destructive foreign-body-type granuloma and avascular necrosis of the mandibular condyle and condylar neck. Our findings suggest that MR is useful in the detection and evaluation of destructive complications that may accompany failed Proplast-Teflon implants in the TMJ. MR is superior to conventional radiography and tomography in detecting soft-tissue lesions and avascular necrosis of bone. Tomography more accurately delineates soft-tissue calcifications and cortical margins of osseous structures.