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Radiographs and Tomographs

What is a Dental Radiograph?ué es una Radiografía Dental?

Dental radiographs are a type of image of the teeth and mouth. X-rays are a form of high-energy electromagnetic radiation that penetrate the body to form an image on film or on a screen; these can be taken digitally or on film. Structures that are dense (such as silver fillings or metal restorations) will block most of the light energy from the X-rays; so this will appear white on the developed film. Structures that contain air will appear black, and teeth, tissue, and liquids will appear as gray shadows.

Types of dental x-rays based on function:

Interproximal: Show the portions of the crowns of the upper and lower teeth together when the patient bites on a small strip of paper.

Periapical: Show 1 or 2 complete teeth from the crown to the root.

Palatal (Occlusal): The Occlusal X-ray captures all upper and lower teeth together in one take while the film remains on the biting surface of the teeth.

Panoramic: Requires a special machine that rotates around the head. The x-ray captures the maxilla and full teeth in one take. It is used to plan dental implant treatment, check for impacted wisdom teeth, and detect jaw problems. A panoramic x-ray is not the best method for detecting cavities unless they are very deep and advanced.

Cephalometric: Shows a lateral view of the face that represents the relationship of the jaw on each side, as well as the rest of the structures. It is useful for diagnosing any problem in the airways.

What is the difference between a Dental X-Ray and a Tomography?

Dental tomography in dentistry is a very useful tool for making diagnoses, as it allows for a more detailed visualization of what can be seen in a regular or panoramic X-ray, since these images are in two dimensions. This feature allows the professional to make a deeper analysis of both the dental and bony structures, as their visualization becomes extremely clear. Additionally, it has the advantage of being able to zoom in and rotate the images with better quality in definition.

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