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At Banyo Dental, we use a digital X-ray system. This has two advantages:

  1. You get your image almost immediately! No waiting 5 minutes for it to develop!
  2. The radiation dosage is a fraction of what it used to be!

X-rays taken at Banyo Dental fall under two general categories:

  1. Bitewing X-rays – these are standard X-rays that assess your back teeth on either side of your mouth to check for decay and gum disease that might be hidden between the teeth. These are usually taken every two years and can be very useful tools for preventative care. For situations where a patient presents with a broken tooth that is not severe nor painful, this X-ray may also be used.
  2. Periapical X-rays – these X-rays assess the roots of a tooth or teeth. These are taken for patients presenting with a toothache, swellings with or without pus, localised gum disease, prior to and during root canal therapies and prior to extraction of a tooth.

At times, it may be necessary to refer you to a radiology clinic for a larger X-ray. These are often bulk-billed if taken at clinics in close proximity to our surgery. These are usually:

  1. OPG (Orthopantomagram) – the most-commonly requested X-ray here at Banyo Dental. These can be useful in assessing wisdom teeth, gum disease affecting the whole mouth or situations where multiple teeth may be broken down and/or abscessed. These can also be used to detect cysts, missing teeth and dental development in children. OPGs may also be requested to screen patients prior to supplying a denture or dentures and in situations where a patient cannot tolerate a bitewing or periapical X-ray (for instance, where a patient has a strong gag reflex).
  2. Lateral Cephalogram – used for orthodontic referrals
  3. TMJ scan – used when patients are having jaw-joint issues


Children and X-rays

X-rays are quite safe for children and may be useful in detecting problems that may not be visible.

Children should have their first X-rays taken prior to turning 8 years old. Here at Banyo Dental, we often begin when a child’s first molars have come through.

X-rays can detect tooth decay, which spreads far more rapidly in baby teeth than in adult teeth. They can also be used to check on the adult teeth beneath their baby teeth, to ensure they are present, correctly positioned and healthy.

At Banyo Dental, we have varying sizes of X-ray sensors that can be used for small mouths. We can also refer your child for an OPG if they still struggle to tolerate our smaller sensors. We will only take X-rays of your child with your consent.

I don’t like X-rays, do I need them?

This really depends on the circumstances. In most cases, it just means accepting a risk of undetected problems that may surface in a matter of weeks or months after your check-up or treatment.

In some cases, we may not be able to provide you with the treatment you need.

X-rays are ideal prior to extractions to ensure we have some idea of what the roots of the tooth being removed look like. This means we can choose the best technique to extract your tooth while minimising discomfort to you.

X-rays are mandatory before any procedures involving the root canal system to ensure we know what the canal system looks like and to check for any abscesses, broken instruments from previous attempts to treat the tooth or anything else that may have an impact on your treatment and outcome. X-rays are also mandatory during root canal treatments to ensure we are providing the best treatment for your tooth.

Refusal of X-rays where extraction and/or root canal therapies may be required could result in no treatment being provided.

It is important to remember that dental X-rays involve a minute dosage of radiation, especially when compared to X-rays taken of other parts of the body!