The objective of this study was to assess the applicability of a multiplanar reformatting program (dental scan) for delineation and quantitative evaluation of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) in the sagittal and coronal planes using the data of axial computed tomography. The resulting images were compared with standardized linear tomograms and direct sagittal and frontal computed tomography. Standardized linear tomograms and computed tomography of the TMJ in axial, frontal and sagittal planes were obtained in 11 patients. The axial computed tomography slices were then reconstructed in oblique frontal and sagittal planes according to the horizontal condylar angle of the TMJ by dental scan software. For each patient and each of the three imaging methods, 14 measurements were undertaken and 24 qualitative characterizations were assessed. Axial computed tomograms in combination with their corresponding coronal and sagittal reconstructions were more accurate than conventional tomograms. Direct coronal and sagittal scans gave the most detailed images, but required additional radiation dose, time and cost. Reconstructions of axial computed tomography slices of the TMJ using the dental scan software show several advantages over linear tomograms. They allow qualitative as well as quantitative evaluation of the TMJ.