X-RAYS in Dentistry


Importance of X-rays in dentistry:


For a client who walks in for a dental consultation most of the time to assess and confirm the problem, x-rays are mandatory. It is helpful in detecting simple problems like cavities, depth of the cavity, any infection in the root portion of the teeth, bone infection beyond the root, gum issues (etc.). Bigger x-rays like OPG are helpful in comprehensively looking out at various dental issues in a patient. So, if the problem is very localized smaller x-rays (IOPA) is enough. If there are multiple dental issues the OPG would be a better option. But for assessing dental cavities smaller x-rays gives us a better picture. So, both x-rays are needed and used on as and when required basis. X-rays especially the IOPAs (smaller x-rays) are helpful while performing RCT (root canal treatment) for clients, implant orientation during implant placement, evaluation of side wall cavity dental fillings, any foreign body lodgment in between teeth (etc).


TYPES OF XRAYS:


COMMONLY USED:

  • IOPA-Intra Oral Periapical Radiograph
  • Bite wing x-ray: To assess side wall cavities
  • OPG: Comprehensive evaluation of dental issues

LESS COMMONLY USED:

  • Lateral cephalogram: For orthodontic purpose
  • TMJ view: To assess the joint of the mouth
  • Occlusal view: To assess buried tooth, orientation of buried tooth, presence of extra tooth (etc)

The point to be noted is that one type of x-ray is not superior over the other. The clinical situation will make the dentist decide what type of x-ray is needed for that particular situation. Have faith in your dentist to get the best and accurate diagnosis of your problem. But x-rays are a very important tool in diagnosing the problem.


CONCERN ON RADIATION SAFETY:

The x-rays used in dentistry are now in the digital format which require one fourth of the radiation then what is required for conventional radiographs. The dosage required is also one –hundredth of what is required for a whole body x-rays. So, they are considered much safer than the regular body x-rays pertaining to the radiation exposure. But still x-ray protection wear is mandatory for the client as well as the clinician.


  • Lead apron
  • Thyroid collar
  • Lead lining door
  • Double brick wall construction
  • Lead shield,

are some protection wear required while taking dental x-rays. Moreover AERB (Atomic Energy Regulatory Board) approval is mandatory for all clinics for their x-ray machine to be considered safe for usage.

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