There are a few different types of dental x-rays we use. They are an important diagnostic tool for us.
Bitewings are x-rays that are taken of the molars and pre molars, both of the left and right sides. We usually like to take bitewing radiographs every 18-24 months. They are an important part of a thorough dental examination. They can expose hidden dental decay and determine the conditions of fillings, crowns and bridges. They can also reveal bone loss from periodontal disease.
Periapical x-rays are taken if there is a specific problem with a particular tooth, especially if we suspect there is an abscess. This image shows us the detail of the root of the tooth and the surrounding tissue.
An OPG is a panoramic radiograph that allows us to see the entire structure of your mouth in a single image. It is used to look at the position of the wisdom teeth, to assess your periodontal condition including the amount of bone around teeth, to look for any missing teeth or extra teeth that may be present, to look for fractures following trauma or injury and to reveal a tumour, cyst or foreign body. A current OPG (no older than 6 months) is necessary to take to a consultation with an oral surgeon. We have an OPG machine at our practice or we can refer you to an x-ray centre like PRP or Wollongong Diagnostics.
Dental x-rays require exposure to very low levels of radiation, which makes the risks of potentially harmful effects very small. We use digital x-rays which are the latest technology. They are very fast and therefore reduce the amount of exposure to radiation. As a comparison, a dental x-ray delivers 800 times less radiation than a chest x-ray and 40 times less radiation than a typical day of background radiation exposure (from the TV, microwave, and the atmosphere).
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