Dental x-rays are often necessary when assessing your oral health as they provide a picture of areas the dentist cannot see. Most dentists recommend having bitewings (small intraoral x-rays of your back teeth) taken every two years during your oral examination to prevent any decay progressing unchecked. Our surgery at Logan Village Dental is equipped with a digital x-ray machine. This means your x-ray image is on the computer screen within 5 seconds of exposure. Not only does this save time, but it also dramatically reduces the amount of radiation your mouth is exposed to when compared to a manual film. It is also possible to enlarge the digital x-rays on the computer screen, making it easier to point out and explain specific areas to give you a better understanding of your oral condition.
To ensure you get a full picture of everything that is going on inside your mouth, we have also equipped our surgery with intra-oral cameras. This allows your dentist to show you, via a roof mounted TV, a live video image of exactly what is happening inside your mouth. This is often used during an examination to explain clearly any problems that may be present, how best to prevent them from getting worse or the best treatment options for them.
Another type of x-ray you may be required to have taken is an OPG. This is an extra-oral x-ray that shows your upper and lower jaw, sinuses and jaw joint as a whole. It provides a good general picture of your teeth, their relative positions and angulations in the jaw and the basic shapes and angulations of their roots.
These are usually requested when treating wisdom teeth, having orthodontic treatment and for some extractions or oral surgery procedures. Your dentist may often ask you to have an OPG taken and still need to take ‘bite wings’ x-rays. This is because the OPG doesn’t show the fine detail such as small decay developing that a bitewing x-ray is searching for.