Dental X-rays: All you need to know

Health

Dental X-rays: All you need to know

Incisive Bite

by Dr Sharon Robinson

Sunday, February 02, 2020

Print this page Email A Friend!


X-RAYS, also known as radiographs, are an essential part of any dental care treatment plan.

They are diagnostic, but they can also be preventative by helping a dentist diagnose potential oral care issues in a patient's mouth before they become a major problem.

An X-ray is a type of energy that passes through soft tissues and is absorbed by dense tissue. Teeth and bone are very dense, so they absorb X-rays, while X-rays pass more easily through gums and cheeks.

X-rays are divided into two main categories, intraoral and extraoral. Intraoral is an X-ray that is taken inside the mouth. An extraoral X-ray is taken outside of the mouth.

Intraoral X-rays are the most common type of radiograph taken in dentistry. They give a high level of detail of the tooth, bone and supporting tissues of the mouth. These X-rays allow dentists to:

• Find cavities;

• Look at the tooth roots;

• Check the health of the bony area around the tooth;

• Determine if periodontal disease is an oral care issue;

• See the status of developing teeth;

• Otherwise, monitor good tooth health through prevention.

Types of X-rays

The benefits of X-rays are well known: They help dentists diagnose common problems, such as cavities, gum disease and some types of infections. Radiographs allow dentists to see inside a tooth and beneath the gums to assess the health of the bone and supporting tissues that hold teeth in place.

There are several X-rays a dental professional can order. The type of X-ray needed will depend greatly on the type of care the patient needs to receive.

Here are some of the most common types of X-rays performed:

Periapical

Provides a view of the entire tooth, from the crown to the bone that helps to support the tooth.

Bite-Wing

Offers a visual of both the lower and upper posterior teeth. This type of X-ray shows the dentist how these teeth touch one another (or occlude) and helps to determine if decay is present between back teeth.

Panoramic

Shows a view of the teeth, jaws, nasal area, sinuses and the joints of the jaw, and is usually taken when a patient may need orthodontic treatment or implant placement.

Occlusal

Offers a clear view of the floor of the mouth to show the bite of the upper or lower jaw. This kind of X-ray highlights children's tooth development to show the primary (baby) and permanent (adult) teeth.

These X-rays are typically performed in the office of a dentist or dental specialist.

First, a dental professional will cover you with a heavy lead apron to protect your body from the radiation. Next, the dental professional will insert a small apparatus, made of plastic, into your mouth and ask you to bite down on it — this holds the X-ray film in place. The technician will then proceed to take an X-ray picture of the targeted area.

This process is pain-free and will be repeated until images have been obtained for your entire mouth. The use of digital X-rays provides significantly less radiation to the dental patient and is convenient and time saving for the dental practice.

Dr Sharon Robinson DDS has offices at the Dental Place Cosmetix Spa, located at shop #5, Winchester Business Centre, 15 Hope Road, Kingston 10. Dr Robinson is an adjunct lecturer at the University of Technology, Jamaica, School of Oral Health Sciences. She may be contacted at 630-4710. Like their Facebook page, Dental Place Cosmetix Spa.


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaper-login


ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT