X-rays

X-rays fall into 3 main categories:

1. Bitewings: mainly used to detect or confirm decay in theeth and assess the presence of gum disease between teeth.

2. Periapical Films: show the entire tooth, including the root and surrounding bone,  often used during root canal treatment.

3. Panoramic Films: a large view of the entire upper and lower jaws. Particularly useful for identifying abnormal growths in the jawbone, trauma to the jaws, and problems with wisdom teeth.

Overview

Your age, dental history and symptoms determine the frequency and type of radiographic examination necessary for you.  If you are a new patient, it is likely you will need to undergo some baseline x-rays to help evaluate your general oral health, or you can authorise copies of previous x-rays taken elsewhere to be forwarded to us. The request for records form can be viewed and printed from this link.

If you have had a lot of dental treatment in the past, you may need regular x-rays in the coming years to monitor the status of the provided treatment.

All of our x-ray equipment complies with Australian Standards, and our dentists and trained radiographers follow strict guidelines. Every precaution is taken to minimise your exposure to radiation.

High-speed digital films are used to limit exposure time and therefore paitient exposure to x-rays.  The radiation you receive on any given day from background radiation (radiation from the atmosphere, the sun and the stars) is generally less than the dose from dental radiography.  It is also less than you would receive on an interstate or international airline flight.

Our digital radiograph uses a digital sensor which recieves the x-ray photons. After the x-rays hit the sensor, the image is processed by our computer and the image appears on the computer screen. The image is then stored and can be viewed at the click of a button.

Digital radiographic examinations generally do not use as much radiation as traditional radiographic procedures.

X-rays detect problems that may not be seen by the eye and can detect a problem even before symptoms appear.

for example:

  • oral cancer/bone malignancies
  • cysts
  • infections
  • hidden decay
  • impacted teeth and bone loss due to gum disease
  • missing adult teeth

...just to name a few.

With early detection, a problem can be treated before it becomes serious.

X-rays are often necessary before procedures to assist in the planning of the procedure such as:

  • extractions
  • fitting of removable dentures or appliances
  • crown and bridge preparations
  • root canal treatment

X-rays are also needed after an injury (trauma) to the teeth and jaws to diagnose the full extent of the damage.

We also have the capability to take 3D images called "Conebeam" images, which are similar to CT scans. These can be helpful for more complex problems that required more information than be provided by traditional 2D x-rays.