Patient Information

Dental Radiography

When are x-rays taken by dentists ?
In dental treatment, x-rays are usually taken at the dental clinic itself in routine cases. They are useful in the detection of caries or dental cavities, gum disease, any sign of infection, trauma to the jaw, and any tumour growth..

How are they taken ?
The patient is kept seated on the dental chair. The dental x-ray unit is then placed adjacent to the chair (or it may be wall mounted), and a dental film (usually a passport size film about 41 x 32 mm in size) is placed in the patient's mouth. This film is held in position either by the patient or a film holder, and the radiograph is taken.

How long does it take to process ?
The usual developing and processing time is about 10-15 minutes.

What is OPG ?
OPG stands for Ortho Panthograph. This also is an x-ray test and is useful for patients who are unable to open their jaw, for giving a complete view of both jaws on a single film, in checking third molar / wisdom tooth, development of teeth in mixed dentition (upto 12 years), and for orthodontic cases.

How is it performed ?
The entire procedure of OPG takes about 20-30 minutes. Earrings, nose rings and hair pins should be removed prior to the test. The patient is made to rest his chin on a chin rest with the head held stationery and the OPG is taken.

Any other tests ?
Other tests which may be asked by your dentist include lateral cephalogram during orthodontic treatment, x-ray Water's view (to see sinuses), and dental CT scan (using a special software program) for orthodontic treatment.