During a clean dental review, the dentist may take X-rays. These images will give the doctor baseline information on the patient’s teeth, gums, and jaw condition. This is done to help detect any problems, such as cavities and gum disease. These x-rays can also be used for treatment planning.
The decision to take an x-ray is based on several factors, including the patient’s health, age, and risk for disease. For example, a person with a history of gum disease may require more frequent x-rays than a person who does not have gum disease.
Although the radiation from x-rays is low, dentists still take precautions to limit exposure. These precautions include using lead aprons and neck collars. In addition, the ALARA principle (as low as reasonably achievable) ensures that the amount of radiation is as tiny as possible.
If the patient feels uncomfortable, the technician may adjust the settings to reduce the amount of radiation. If the X-rays show significant problems, the dentist and hygienist will talk with the patient about the results.
It is essential to understand the different types of x-rays. Each type has its purpose. For instance, a panoramic x-ray rotates around the head, allowing the dentist to investigate the structure of the patient’s wisdom teeth and jaw.
A peripherical x-ray takes a picture of two complete teeth, while an occlusal x-ray captures images of all the teeth in the mouth. In addition, a panoramic x-ray can be used to plan implanted dental devices.
Dental x-rays can be painless, so patients should feel no discomfort. However, they need to hold still while the pictures are being taken. It is also a good idea to ask the technician to adjust the settings if they are experiencing discomfort.
Generally speaking, the American Dental Association recommends that people visit the dentist at least twice a year for a checkup and x-rays. This is to prevent damage to the oral cavity and ensure the fetus is protected from unnecessary radiation exposure.
If you do not have dental issues, you may only need x-rays once a year. However, if you are at high risk for dental diseases, you may need x-rays more frequently.
During a clean dental review, radiographs may be taken to determine the status of teeth and roots. This can help identify problems that have been undetected clinically.
During this process, the patient will hold still. Then, the dentist will guide the patient through the x-ray procedure and review the images for abnormalities. The images can be enlarged and enhanced several times on the computer screen. The results will help the dental practitioner make a clinical decision about the health of the teeth and gums.
The American Dental Association (ADA) has developed recommendations for dental radiographic examinations. These recommendations are meant to serve as a supplement to the dentist’s professional judgment. In addition, the ADA joined with 80 other healthcare organizations to promote the use of Image Gently.
These recommendations are based on the fact that dental technology has advanced to a point where imaging techniques have become more efficient. They also help to minimize radiation exposure to the patient.
To be sure that the radiographs are taken accurately, the dentist should follow the ALARA Principle. This stands for “Always Alternate Levels of Activity and Resistance.” The principle states that a dentist should know the risks of using radiographs.
In addition, the ADA recommends that dentists share their philosophy about radiographs with their team members during team meetings. This will help to make discussions about the images less exhausting.
A hand-held exposure device should be used to minimize the risk of radiation. The device should be held at a mid-torso height, and the trigger on the handle should be activated. It should be operated with a lead apron.
In addition, the dentist should keep updated on the latest technological advances. This will ensure that radiation exposure is minimized for each patient.
OCT is more suitable than standard X-ray radiography. The axial resolution of OCT is 8 mm, and the lateral resolution is 2 mm. Therefore, OCT is most appropriate for extractions.
The ADA has joined with the FDA to develop recommendations for dental radiographic examinations. These guidelines are an excellent place to start.