Reliable x-ray technology for accurate imaging
Dental x-rays play an important role in your dental treatment and preventative care.
Digital imaging of x-rays allow practitioners to have a better understanding of patients anatomy, bone density, and assist in diagnosing cavities, gum disease, gum infections, and other common dental problems. Without x-rays some conditions may be left undiagnosed and subsequently untreated.
There are two categories of dental x-rays: intraoral and extraoral.
Intraoral refers to images taken inside your mouth. These images help practitioners to visualise cavities, teeth roots and developing teeth at specific sites with very high detail.
Types of intraoral images are bitewings, periapical x-rays, and occlusal. Bitewings are used to check in between teeth or assess decay/restorations. While periapical x-rays give a close up view of individual teeth and their roots. An occlusal image shows the practitioner the relationship between upper and lower teeth.
Extraoral refers to images taken outside your mouth. These images show practitioners a larger area including all teeth, jaw and oral anatomy in one single image.
Types of extraoral images are OPG (Orthopantomogram) Cephalometric, and CBCT (Cone beam computed tomography). An OPG is an x-ray of your full mouth, showing all teeth and roots. A cephalometric image shows the practitioner your entire head and facial profile. Whilst a CBCT is a 3d image of necessary areas of the face and teeth.
What to expect from your x-ray examination
Our practitioners are selective with which types of x-rays you require and when ensuring the lowest dose of radiation exposure necessary is used.
Radiation safety is taken very seriously with any X-ray examination, including exposure selection, collimation (the precision of the radiation beam) and lead shielding.
Every day, we are exposed to radiation in our surroundings. Natural background radiation exposure varies and is influenced by your nutrition as well as environmental elements including soil, rock, altitude, and latitude. An individual in Australia is currently exposed to 1.5 mSv of background radiation annually from natural sources, which is roughly comparable to 75 chest X-rays. Traditional 2D dental X-rays are thought to be extremely safe and only generate very little amounts of radiation.
Safety and x-rays
A single dental exposure would emit between 0.001-0.005mSv, which is equivalent to one day’s worth of background radiation exposure or the radiation you would ordinarily experience on a one- to two-hour flight.
Radiation only becomes dangerous at levels exceeding 500mSV, and effects start happening almost immediately.
These high doses are not caused by ordinary film radiography; they are only experienced as a result of significant nuclear or radiation accidents.
If you have any concerns regarding your dental imaging, your dentist or radiographer will be more than happy to discuss this with you prior to your imaging.
Frequently asked questions
- Decay, especially small areas of decay between teeth.
- Decay beneath existing fillings.
- Bone loss in the jaw.
- Changes in the bone or root canal due to infection.
- Condition and position of teeth to help prepare for tooth implants, braces, dentures or other dental procedures.
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