There are several different types of x-ray for which your dentist or doctor may refer you.
There is no preparation required before a dental x-ray. You will need to remove jewellery and dentures/plates. Patients are to arrive 15 minutes prior unless otherwise stated when booking.
The different types of dental imaging include:
An OPG is a panoramic or wide view x-ray of the lower face, which displays all the teeth of the upper and lower jaw on a single film. It demonstrates the number, position and growth of all the teeth, including those that have not yet surfaced or erupted. It is different from the small close up x-rays dentists take of individual teeth. An OPG may also reveal problems with the jawbone and the joint which connects the jawbone to the head, called the Temporomandibular joint or TMJ. An OPG may be requested for the planning of orthodontic treatment, for assessment of wisdom teeth or for a general overview of the teeth and the bone which supports the teeth.
An OPG is done standing in an OPG x-ray machine. You will be asked to bite gently on a small tab or place your chin on a small rest. The radiographer will position your head and teeth before gently bracing your head in place. The x-ray equipment slowly rotates around your head during the scan. The scan is painless and takes only 15 to 20 seconds to complete.
Lateral Cephalostat (Lateral CEPH)
Lateral cephalostat x-rays are done standing up, using equipment that is an extension of the OPG x-ray machine. You will be asked to stand with your molars (back teeth) gently closed together and your head, neck and shoulders in a natural resting posture. Markers are placed gently in the ears and on the bridge of your nose. These markers allow for precise positioning and measurements for your orthodontist. The scan is painless and takes only 15 to 20 seconds to complete.
Intra Oral (including bite wings and full mouth surveys)
Intra oral x-rays are done sitting in a chair. A small x-ray film (just a few centimetres in size) is placed gently into your mouth, and your jaw closes to hold this in position. The x-ray equipment is positioned close to your jaw, and after each x-ray, the film is removed. Intra oral x-rays may be done in a range of different series requested by your doctor. These x-rays usually require views from different positions and angles. The scan is painless and takes only 15 to 20 seconds to complete
Cone Beam VT
A Cone beam VT provides a detailed 3D view of your mouth. You will be asked to bite gently on a positioning tab or place your chin on a small rest. The radiographer will position your head and teeth in the ideal position before gently bracing your head in place. The x-ray equipment slowly rotates around your head, and the scan takes 15 to 20 seconds. Some processing is required after the three-dimensional image is obtained before the images are complete.
View the Patient Care page for additional information regarding patient safety.
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