The public has become increasingly aware of exposure risks, understanding radiation accumulates over a lifetime. X-rays are an indispensable part of any dental practice as problem areas would often go undetected without them.
An x-ray is both a preventative and diagnostic tool essential to all dental practices. A flat electronic sensor is placed inside your mouth where the dentist will be taking images. These images are then sent to a computer where the dentist can instantly view.
Benefits of digital x-rays:
- Less radiation exposure to patients and dental team
- Higher resolution of images
- Images can be instantly viewed and same visit diagnosis made
- Images can be zoomed in on
- More efficient diagnosis
- Time saving – no waiting on developing film
- Often able to diagnose in same visit
- No film processing required, therefore no harmful waste to dispose of
Digital x-rays are used to:
- Plan and prepare for dental work; dental implants, orthodontics, dentures, etc.
- Detect hidden dental abnormalities
- Reveal tooth decay and infection
- Display bone loss (often times associated with gum disease)
- Watch and monitor the development of teeth – taking a special interest in impacted teeth, and the eruption of permanent teeth and spacing
- Plan orthodontic treatment
- Detect early tooth decay or hidden dental abnormalities
What is an OPG?
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.
The principal advantage of panoramic images/OPGs:
- Broad coverage of facial bones and teeth including the TMJ (temporomandibular joint)
- Low patient radiation dose
- Convenience of examination for the patient
- Ability to be used in patients who are restricted in opening their mouth
- Short time required for producing the image
- Useful visual aid in patient education and case presentation
Where can I get an OPG taken?
Totalcare has OPG facilities on site for your convenience and the images are produced digitally and stored in your file with all your other x-rays. The image is produced within seconds of the OPG being taken and your dentist will review it with you through the appointment. An OPG is just one diagnostic tool your dentist will use to ensure you maintain and prevent unnecessary dental issues.