Dental x-ray

It is an important tool that shows the condition of teeth, its roots, jaw placement and the overall composition of your facial bones. X-rays can help in determining the presence or degree of periodontal disease,fracture of a tooth, abscesses and many abnormal growths, such as cysts and tumors. X-rays also can show the exact location of impacted and unerupted teeth. They can pinpoint the location of cavities and other signs of disease which otherwise are not visible clinically.

This will depend on the asessment of your dentist, if he feels periodic x-ray examination is necessary to evaluate the progress of a disease or the development of the dentition of your child .Basically it depends on individual need as asessed by your dentist. whether you're a new patient or a follow-up patient, adult or child. At times one may need a full mouth x-ray.

No, x-ray is only a diagnostic aid and mind it, it is not three dimensional, hence we feel that to reach a correct diagnosis one must consider the patient complaint,what is clinically seen by the dentist? the x-ray and the clinical experience of the dentist. All these factors when combined together will help your dentist establish a correct diagnosis.

Typically, most dental patients have PERIAPICAL, BITEWING & OCCLUSAL radiographs taken. These require patients to hold or bite down on a piece of plastic with X-ray film in the center. Bitewing X-rays typically determine the presence of decay in between teeth, while periapical X-rays show root structure, bone levels, cysts and abscesses, the occlusal x-ray is taken to see the occlusal view of Maxilla and Mandible.

PANORAMIC RADIOGRAPH (ORTHOPENTOGRAM) (OPG) allows your dentist to see the entire structure of your mouth in a single image. Within one large film, panoramic X-rays reveal all of your upper and lower teeth and parts of your jaw. This particular radiograph shows impacted third molars. One placed at low-level, horizontal and distally directed.

To get a good view of the Temporo mandibular joint, a special kind of extra-oral Xray called the LATERAL-OBLIQUE Xray might be required.

What is apparent through one type of X-ray often is not visible on another. The panoramic X-ray will give your dentist a general and comprehensive view of your entire mouth on a single film, which a periapical or bitewing X-ray can not show. On the other hand, periapical or bitewing X- rays show a highly-detailed image of a smaller area, making it easier for your dentist to see decay or cavities between your teeth. X-rays are not prescribed indiscriminately.

Patients' concerns about exposure to radiation is valid. Your dentist has been trained to prescribe radiographs when they are appropriate and to each patient's individual needs. your dentist knows which techniques, procedures and X-ray films can minimize your exposure to radiation.

What is digital radiology?
Classically, dental radiology relies on films. A radiograph is made of shades of gray spanning from black to white, To transform any image into its digital form it has to be minutely examined into individual pieces of information called picture elements (pixels). These pixels have information regarding the light intensity (brightness) and their location (x,y coordinates). Forming a digital image requires a computer to quantify these two parameters: brightness and position.

There are two ways of forming a "digital image": a directly obtained digital image or an image that is transformed from analogic to digital. In the direct way, a digital image receptor is directly attached to the computer, the system being called digital direct radiography (DDR). In the indirect way, a video camera or other digitalizer system captures the information from the radiograph or chassis and displays it from the computer.

The heart of DDR is a charge-coupled device (CCD) array. This CCD is sensitive to X-rays, like a normal video camera to the light. It captures the image in a similar fashion as the film does, but it is instantly stored in the computer memory and diplayed on the monitor. No film processing is needed and the image is available immediately.

This camera is light weight high resolution compact camera with automatic adjustment to lighting condition offer the best colour fidelity. When interfaced with computer the camera become a versatile tool for the cosmetic dentist.

Image Processor: This compound system consist of programmed software and specialized hardware. An image-capture graphic board, which digitalizes and records the images in 32,768 possible colours, The computer turns the video image from the camera into a series of numbers (digitalized) and assigns a number to each pixel (dot) that makes up a colour monito television screen. The image is displayed on the monitor as a still television picture. This screen image can be easily changed by using a device rather like a pen on a plastic pad and which directs an arrow on the screen (the cursor) to selected various options which are available for getting the appropriate required image.

Colour Printer: The printer provides high definition color images for patients and dentist. Every model or system is provided by its own type of color printer.
With the help of imager the cosmetic dentist carries out all requisite dental procedure (like filling, bleaching, contouring, laminating, veneering and so many other) to correct the shortcomings of the smile on the screen. This shows the patient, a picture of the final ideal smile that should emerge after the actual corrective and designing procedure. This means that the modern dentist can use an image to simulate and display possible results of fillings, veneers, crowns, laminates, inlays, bridges and implants, cosmetic recontouring of teeth and gums, orthodontic procedure, orthognatic and maxillofacial surgery.
Computer imaging technology with highly magnified, clear, crisp images gives the dentist the ability to identify cosmetic concerns, discuss possible treatment options, demonstrate the effect of overall facial change and communicate the benefits of treatment before actulaay starting it.
· By viewing computer graphics, patients can recognise each component of dental procedure in a planned and sequencial order. Thus the patient can select treatment plans that are personally and economically beneficial.
· Disadvantages
The major disadvantage with computer imaging arise when a dentist is overly optimistic about post-operative improvements during the imaging session. The equipment used is very expensive and hence the patient has to pay a high price for this.

This is also an advanced radiographic imaging system. It produces images of planes to clarify them from the confusion of shadows of the structres on either side of those planes. It has the ability to produce clean tomographic images free from many of the artifacts. It is an ideal medium for advanced head and neck diagnostic imaging. Problems may be caused by metallic dental restorations.
Other techniques are Sialography, Arthography, MRI, & Angiography.