Are X-ray Images in Dentistry Important?

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Watch Dental Video about X-ray Images in Dentistry

The most common imaging procedures are single images and panoramic images, also referred to as a panorex.

The quality of X-ray images has improved significantly in recent years; whether they’re taken with the help of single images or panoramic processes, they have high informative value that should benefit the patient.

When selecting a respective radiological procedure, one must always follow the principle that the imaging technology should yield the optimum amount of diagnostic information. If the information value of the chosen technology is significantly higher compared to other procedures, then this approach should be given preference even if radiation exposure is higher. There’s no doubt about the value of the panorex (OPTG) as an overview image; it’s proven to be practically indispensible in orthognathic surgery and orthodontic diagnoses.

Panoramic systems have significantly improved in recent years. Thus, modern devices have multi-pulse generators and a computer controlled system that can adjust the trajectory to any special issues that the patient may have. Various digital systems can also be used for panoramic technology today.

A panorex is still subject to a number of process-related restrictions compared to a single image; for example, the resolution is lower and the projection geometry and position don’t correspond to the individual requirements of every jaw area, not even in modern digital systems.

The combination of film and intensifying screens in analog systems mean that fine structures (also depending on the region) cannot be displayed in an optimal fashion, especially if they differ very little from the environment in their absorption.

Initial Caries

Initial Caries

Some advantages should be expected from the dynamics and image processing of digital systems; nevertheless, some limitations remain. In special cases, the orthopantomogram advises that a specific X-ray finding by means of single image shots is required. This means that the panorex doesn’t fulfill all the diagnostic requirements in answering certain questions when it comes to dental preservation, periodontology, and prosthetics.

Even though panorexes sometimes allow for the recognition of contact point caries, marginal bone recession, or other circumscribed pathological changes, discrete findings are not always recognizable because of a blurring of the film. Single images are unmatched when it comes to reproduction of details. Therefore, this X-ray technology must be applied when it’s important to recognize fine details such as, for example, recognizing hidden approximal caries.

This also applies to a variety of other issues. Therefore, using only panorex technology is only appropriate to a limited degree. However, in most cases, the panorex can replace the single image nowadays. The advantages of the panorex are: Very small time expenditure, standardized projection, wider imaging area, and less risk.

Furthermore, the wide imaging area gives the panorex special importance in early diagnosis of changes in the maxillo-facial region. Each of these two imaging procedures has its designated, scientifically founded use; when seen this way, it can be said that both are highly important tools for diagnosing dental, oral and maxillar diseases.

Click here to see the video: Panorama X-Ray

 

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