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Importance of Dental Radiographs

Importance of Dental Radiographs

Radiographs otherwise known as X-Rays, may be recommended by your Dental Practitioner. They serve to aid the dental practitioner to diagnose and allow for planning of possible early intervention/ prevention strategies and detect problems that cannot be seen by the naked eye.

The most common question and response that we get asked and told is why do I need an Xray? I might leave it till next time!

  • The presence of pain is not the only motive to take an X-Ray! Decay in its early stages is not always painful, it is when the decay extends deeper within a tooth that it becomes painful. Decay in its early stages can be monitored and stabilised, however when it extends within a tooth it will require treatment.
  • Missing adult precursor teeth (retained baby teeth) and impacted adult teeth, diagnosed will allow the dental practitioner to plan for future treatment and provide treatment options which may be recommended to coincide at specific age rangers.

The areas that the dental practitioner will be examining using radiographs are:

  • In between the teeth to check for cavities
  • Assessment of aging restorations
  • Root morphology and development
  • Bone levels surrounding the roots
  • Check primary and adult dentition and development
  • If in pain/ to diagnose source (e.g. abscess, cyst, tumours)
  • Assess tissues and teeth structures post dental trauma
  • To measure bone levels if dental implants are being considered
  • Wisdom tooth assessment: Positioning and if causing pain
  • Preventative radiographs to monitor dental health

Now that you have gained an understanding of the reasons why radiographs are taken at a dental visit; it is also important to understand how these are taken.

Depending on the patient concern and what the practitioner is assessing either an intraoral and/or extra oral radiograph will be taken.

Intraoral radiographs although may feel like a bit of a mouthful are very quick and taken in chair with minimal radiation exposure. This type of radiograph is used to capture a close up of teeth usually diagnosing cavities and bone levels at a particular site.

Extra-oral radiographs are completed in our onsite radiograph room. Our X-ray equipment can take a variety of diagnostic radiographs including Panoramic, OPG, Ceph and 3D Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT). These images are more of an overview to assess root structures, bone levels, jaw/ arch relationships through skeletal observation, implant planning and wisdom tooth examination.

Here, at Beachside Complete Dental Care, all of our radiographs are taken digitally by a licensed practitioner, with the principle of keeping radiation low using the principle ALARA (As low as reasonably achievable). The experts at Mornington Peninsula’s top dental clinic always ensure your safety first. Come chat to our team at Beachside Dental today, we offer a range of different dental treatments, as well as cosmetic dentistry and dental surgery.

Reference: The Radiation Act 2005 (the Act)

Radiation Protection in Dentistry, https://www.arpansa.gov.au/sites/default/files/legacy/pubs/rps/rps10.pdf

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