The panoramic dental X-ray in case of tooth decays


The panoramic dental X-ray in case of tooth decays

It is important to have a panoramic dental X-ray when you have some dental sensitivity, small holes visible to the naked eye on your teeth, white, brown or black stains on the surface of your teeth, localized pain or pain that affects a part of your face.  

Here is how the panoramic dental X-ray works in case of tooth decay.

What is a dental panoramic X-ray?

In radiology, a panoramic dental X-ray allows you to take a global picture of the jaw in order to visualize the exact location of the teeth, to locate various dental anomalies, to detect dental lesions and tissues. It will above all allow the detection of dental cavities but also wisdom teeth, fractures, cysts or tumors. You can therefore have a better oral health.

Interproximal radiography in case of tooth decays

The interproximal radiograph or Bite-Wing will provide an accurate image between the teeth to diagnose cavities between teeth or under restorations. The interproximal x-ray should be taken at least once a year in order to properly assess the presence or progression of dental caries. If you are a person at risk, they can be taken every 6 months. They are important because they can avoid expensive treatments when cavities are discovered early. This type of x-ray is especially useful for teeth in the back of the mouth.

Preparing for the panoramic dental x-ray examination

You will generally be seated in order to proceed with the examination. The radiography is particularly simple and will not require any particular preparation beforehand. However, you must remember to remove any jewelry or removable metal prostheses that could create interference and alter the result.

The procedure of the panoramic dental X-ray examination

Most of the time, a single-use plastic tool will be used in order to spread the teeth slightly and thus make the reading of the radiography easier for the specialist. For pregnant women, it is recommended to inform the dentist in advance so that he can take the right measures. Indeed, even if the examination generates a radiation level much lower than the maximum authorized, and lower than that of a scanner for example, it is necessary to be vigilant in order not to harm the health of the fetus. Furthermore, for the youngest patients who have not completed their physical growth, it is important to take into account their age to adapt the treatment to their morphology. From the age of 6, children begin to lose their milk teeth and adopt their permanent dentition. This is why dental x-rays are so important. It will allow your dentist to monitor the arrangement of the teeth and to anticipate possible orthodontic needs early on. Following the examination, the specialist will be able to obtain a panoramic image directly available on the computer and place it in your computerized file. In this way, he or she can compare the result with that of a CT scan.

The price of the dental panoramic X-ray

The dental panoramic radiography is part of the services that are reimbursed by the Social Security at a rate of 70%. On the other hand, the price of the orthopantomogram is fixed at 20 €. The remaining cost, which can probably be covered by your mutual insurance company, is 6 €.

Risks related to dental radiography

  X-rays will emit electromagnetic radiation which is due to the radioactivity of the atoms. This material is aggressive and constitutes a mortal danger in case of high dose. The doses delivered are variable depending on the examination and the organs studied. However, orthopantomograms and cone beams use X-rays in the formulation of diagnoses. Given the risks induced by radiation, the use of radiography tools is highly regulated. And maximum doses are prescribed. However, the radiation dose of the cone beam is lower than that of other radiological examinations, which have a broader scope of study. This technique irradiates only a small portion of the body. Medical radiology has made progress, but too regular examinations are not harmless. The radiation emitted by dental X-rays can cause tumors and cancers. The radiation, once introduced into the cells, can affect the DNA. Cancerous development is then inevitable. Radiation risks are greater in children and adolescents because their physical growth is not yet complete. Each unit of dose of ionizing radiation is more dangerous for young people than for adults. Therefore, children and teenagers should receive strictly necessary medical doses.

Other types of radiography for other oral problems

Periapical radiography

This is a technique that gives a complete picture of a group of teeth. It will show part of the patient's dentition. Bones, roots and supporting tissues are shown on the x-ray. Thus, fractures, deformities, cysts, abscesses and various infections can be observed, even if these pathologies are still in their early stages.

Panoramic dental radiography

This technique provides an overview of the dentition, jaws, sinuses and joints. It shows all these organs in one image. It makes it possible to diagnose a large number of diseases of the mouth. The dental panoramic X-ray has its limits: it lacks precision. It just gives an overview of the organs, without really going into depth. Retroalveolar radiography targets a group of teeth and gives more precision. It is therefore considered the best. But the dental scanner is recommended to know the precise positioning of an organ.

In any case, you should still use a sonic toothbrush like the Y-Brush to brush your teeth effectively to start removing dental plaque from your teeth. 

We hope you understand what a panoramic dental x-ray is. An interproximal x-ray is the only way to see the progress of your tooth decay. It is important to know the procedure and the cost of the x-ray to understand your treatment. However, it is important to know the risks associated with the use of this type of device. You should also be aware of other types of x-rays to help you deal with future oral problems. 


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