Why I need dental X-ray?
At The Smile Dental Lounge, our dentists use dental radiograph, also known as dental X-rays to help diagnose cavity and disease that is not visible during routine intraoral examination. The indications for X-rays are depending on individual factors such as oral health, age, risk for disease and signs or symptoms.
Bitewings radiograph shows coronal part of the upper and lower teeth in single exposure. They are useful in detecting cavities especially interproximal decay, early sign of periodontal bone loss, fitting of crown and restoration.
Periapical radiograph (Pa) is an intraoral radiograph that shows the whole tooth from the crown to the root and surrounding bone. It is useful in detecting root pathology such as periapical abscess. Therefore, it is commonly prescribed during root canal treatment.
Dental Panoramic Tomography (OPG)
As the name suggests, dental panoramic tomograph (previously known as orthopantomogram or OPG) is the panoramic view of the upper and lower teeth and jaws. It is a great screening tool that enable dentist to have a glimpse of your oral condition in single exposure. For example, before wisdom tooth extraction and pre/post orthodontic treatment.
Lateral Cephalogram (Lat Ceph) is taken of the side of the face with calibrated positioning so that accurate measurement (cephalometric analysis) can be taken to determine the relationship of upper and lower jaws. This is particularly useful in planning and assessing treatment progress and outcome in orthodontic treatment.
Cone Beam Computed Tomography (3D CBCT)
CBCT is an advance 3D imaging modality by using cone-shaped X-ray beam to capture accurate three dimensional information of the jaws and teeth. The 3D image can then be utilized in diagnosis, digital workflow in planning and even manufacturing surgical guide in implant dentistry. The radiation dose of CBCT is just a fraction compared to conventional medical CT scan.
Is Dental X-ray safe ?
At The Smile Dental Lounge, we follow the International Commission on Radiologic Protection guidelines and “ALARA” principle in optimizing radiation doses. ALARA stands for “As Low as Reasonably Achievable”, which means that even if it is a small dose, if there benefit does not outweigh the risk, we should try to avoid it.
Every dental X-rays do involve radiation. But the exposed levels are so low that when a single periapical radiograph is used, it generates about a day’s worth of natural exposure. A panoramic X-ray produces a dose lower than cosmic radiation during a 5 hours flight.
At our clinic, we use digital X-ray instead of traditional film to further cut down the radiation dose. Digital X-ray sensors are more sensitive and thus require less exposure time.
Dental X-ray for pregnant woman
Despite the myth, studies of pregnant patients receiving dental care have affirmed the safety of dental treatment. The FDA, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American College of Radiology have all agreed that dental X-rays is safe for pregnant woman. They release a joint publication in 2017 stating that “when properly done, do not involve any risk to the unborn child”. But if you are uncertain like many new mothers, feel free to consult our dentist for more information about getting dental x-rays while pregnant, before making a decision.