X-rays fall into 3 main categories:
1. Intra-oral imaging (bitewings or PA’s): close up images mainly used to detect or confirm decay in teeth, assess the presence of gum disease between teeth, and show the root and surrounding bone.
2. Panoramic Films (or OPG’s): a large view of the entire upper and lower jaws. Particularly useful for identifying abnormal growths in the jawbone, trauma to the jaws, and problems with wisdom teeth.
3. 3D or Conebeam imaging: A 3-dimensional scan of the face which gives incredible detail when looking at a particular problem in a tooth, finding extra canals during endodontic treatment, planning implants or looking at wisdom teeth.
Your age, dental history and symptoms determine the frequency and type of radiographic examination necessary for you. If you are a new patient, it is likely you will need to undergo some baseline x-rays to help evaluate your general oral health, or you can authorise copies of previous x-rays taken elsewhere to be forwarded to us. The request for records form can be viewed and printed from this link.
If you have had a lot of dental treatment in the past, you may need regular x-rays in the coming years to monitor the status of the provided treatment.
All of our x-ray equipment complies with Australian Standards, and our dentists and trained radiographers follow strict guidelines. Every precaution is taken to minimise your exposure to radiation.
High-speed digital films are used to limit exposure time and therefore paitient exposure to x-rays. The radiation you receive on any given day from background radiation (radiation from the atmosphere, the sun and the stars) is generally less than the dose from dental radiography. It is also less than you would receive on an interstate or international airline flight.
Digital radiographic examinations generally do not use as much radiation as traditional radiographic procedures, and can be viewed instantly on the computer.
X-rays detect problems that may not be seen by the eye and can detect a problem even before symptoms appear.
- oral cancer/bone malignancies
- hidden decay
- impacted teeth and bone loss due to gum disease
- missing adult teeth
…just to name a few.
With early detection, a problem can be treated before it becomes serious.
X-rays are often necessary before procedures to assist in the planning of the procedure such as:
- fitting of removable dentures or appliances
- crown and bridge preparations
- root canal treatment
- before and during orthodontic treatment
X-rays are also needed after an injury (trauma) to the teeth and jaws to diagnose the full extent of the damage.