During the past three decades, dentistry has witnessed great advances in all its branches. Consequently, the need for more precise diagnostic tools, specifically imaging methods, has become mandatory. From the simple intraoral periapical x-rays, to advanced imaging techniques like magnetic resonance imaging, cone beam computed tomography, computed tomography and ultrasound have also found their place in modern dentistry. Advancement in radiography has not only made the process simpler and faster, but has also made image storage, manipulation and retrieval easier.
Depending on the case, one might be more useful than another and only our dentist can determine which is the most appropriate one. However, it is important to note that these improved dental imaging devices and technologies are not alternatives to dental treatments.
A cephalometric X-ray, or ceph X-ray, is a diagnostic radiograph used primarily for orthodontic treatment planning. Ceph X-Rays are extraoral, so patients do not have to insert any sort of trays, bitewings or films into the mouth. They are also safe, fast, painless and extremely effective.Read more about Ceph X-Ray
Cone Beam 3D Dental Imaging
Dental cone beam computed tomography (CT) is a special type of x-ray equipment used when regular dental or facial x-rays are not sufficient. Your doctor may use this technology to produce three dimensional images of your teeth, soft tissues, nerve pathways and bone in a single scan. With cone beam CT, an x-ray beam in the shape of a cone is moved around the patient to produce a large number of images. This makes it much easier to analyze the issue and make an accurate diagnosis, allowing for successful treatment planning and completion.Read more about Cone Beam 3D Dental Imaging
Digital x-rays are one of the most important advancements in dentistry. This technology replaced conventional x-rays, reducing the use of film, harsh chemicals and waste materials used to capture the images. Unlike traditional x-rays, digital x-rays use less radiation. They also make it easier for our dentists to accurately and efficiently reach a diagnosis as their processing time is faster, providing immediate results.
Another common dental x-ray, the intraoral camera, is used when our dentists need to take x-rays to see the interior of your mouth as clearly as possible. In this case, the camera is largely focused on the inside of your mouth.
There are three different types of intraoral x-rays that are used based on the area of the mouth that is being x-rayed. The following are the kinds of intraoral x-rays:
- Occlusal x-ray – This allows for a bigger look at the placement and arch of all the teeth. This is largely used to identify alignment problems and to fix them with the help of braces or other dental procedures.
- Periapical x-ray – This x-ray reveals the entire tooth from where it starts at the jaw to the enamel. This is important to identifying any unusual growths, abnormalities or changes which might be occurring at the root, near the gum or even other bone structures.
- Bitewing x-ray – Focusing on the enamel of the teeth, bitewing x-rays are essential for identifying cavities and tooth decay which might occur. Tooth decay caused by gum diseases are also easy to identify with this tool. Sometimes, for replacement or renewing of fillings, the bitewing x-ray can be used to identify the level of deterioration that has taken place.
These are the most common types of intraoral x-rays which are taken with the help of an intraoral camera. Our dentists make use of any of these based on the kind of dental problem you are facing.
Digital dental imaging make it easier for our dentists to diagnose oral diseases and abnormalities. Images are usually taken after our dentists have conducted an initial examination, and the technology to be used will be determined according to your age and dental history, among other factors.