Dental X-rays

Dentists use X-rays or radiographs to see the damage not visible during a clinical examination. Dental X-rays are images of the tooth and surrounding structures.

There are two main types of dental X-rays. Intra-oral and extra-oral. Intra-oral X-ray especially the intra-oral periapical x-ray (IOPA-X-ray) is the most common type. These X-rays provide a lot of details and help find cavities and other issues with the surrounding structures. Another common type of x-rays used in clinics is Panoramic X-rays, popularly known as OPG. Panoramic X-rays capture the entire mouth in one image. Most of the clinics don’t have the facility of OPG X-rays, so when required, they send the patients to a nearby Imaging center.

Intra-oral Peri-apical Dental X-ray (IOPA)
Intra-oral Peri-apical Dental X-ray

X-rays help to show decay in the tooth. It can also show decay below an already filled tooth. X-rays can show pathologies like abscesses, cysts, and tumors not visible by the naked eye. It can also show the amount of bone loss between and surrounding a tooth. It can even identify developmental abnormalities like impacted wisdom teeth.

OPG dental X-ray showing impacted wisdom tooth on both sides of lower jaw.
OPG X-ray showing impacted wisdom teeth on both sides of the lower jaw.

Areas of tooth decay and infections appear dark on X-ray because they don’t absorb much of the x-ray.

The other types of X-rays are bite-wing and occlusal x-rays.

Are dental x-rays safe?

Dental X-rays do emit some radiation but the amount of exposure is very small. That is why it is perfectly safe for most people in most situations. However, if you are pregnant, it is best to avoid the X-rays. If you require it, the dental professional will have you wear a lead apron and lead thyroid collar to protect the vulnerable areas.

The dentists at Shangrila Dental Clinic in Kathmandu perform dental x-ray only when they are absolutely necessary.

To find out more about X-rays or to schedule a consultation with one of our dentists, please contact us today at (+977)-9841815537 or (+9771)-4423123.



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