Dental Radiographs are commonly called X-rays. Dentists use radiographs for many reasons, such as to find hidden dental structures, malignant or benign masses, bone loss and cavities.
A radiographic image is formed by a controlled burst of X-ray radiation, which penetrates oral structures at different levels depending on varying anatomical densities before striking the film or sensor.
Teeth appear lighter because less radiation penetrates them to reach the film. Dental cavities, infections, changes in the bone density and the periodontal ligament appear darker because X-rays readily penetrate these less dense structures.
Dental restorations (fillings, crowns, etc.) may appear lighter or darker, depending on the density of the material.
Intraoral imaging is the most common X-ray diagnostic method in dentistry. The term intraoral comes from the image receptor being inside (intra) the patient’s mouth (oral).
Both the X-ray source and the receptor are stationary during the exposure. Intraoral imaging is used for a variety of different tasks such as diagnosing cavities, endodontic file location, inflammation of the teeth, etc.
Intraoral imaging produces a wide range of clinically relevant dental views, e.g., periapical, bitewing, Full Mouth Series (FMS) and occlusal.
Possible disadvantages to intraoral imaging is an increased risk of cross-contamination since the receptor (Imaging Plate, sensor or film) is placed in the patient’s the mouth, more time is needed to capture images of all teeth (FMS), compared to panoramic imaging and it offers only a limited view of the dentition.
An OPG is a panoramic or wide view X-ray of the lower face, which displays all the teeth of the upper and lower jaw on a single film. It demonstrates the number, position and growth of all the teeth including those that have not yet surfaced or erupted.
This type of X-ray is different from the small close-up X-rays that dentists take of individual teeth. An OPG may also reveal problems with the jawbone and the joint that connects the jawbone to the head called the Temporomandibular Joint or TMJ.
An OPG may be requested for the planning of orthodontic treatment, for assessment of wisdom teeth or for a general overview of the teeth and the bone that supports the teeth.
Call our staff today for more information on the type of X-rays we offer, or to schedule an appointment with us.(03) 9574 0866