A full mouth digital x-ray, which is also known as orthopantomogram (OPG) or panoramic x-ray, is an important diagnostic tool used by dental specialists/dentists to thoroughly examine your dental condition. They are commonly performed and generally safe. It allows dental specialists/dentists to see what cannot be seen from the physical mouth, such as:
- caries in between teeth
- teeth that have not been erupted or are buried
- cysts in the jaw bones
- advanced periodontal (gum) disease
At Specialist Dental Group, we have been taking these digital x-rays since 2010. As compared to physical x-ray films, digital x-rays have numerous benefits for patients:
- less radiation exposure
- eliminates error that may be present in darkroom during processing of physical x-ray films
- faster capturing process
- do not degrade or discolour over time
One of the most common concern that patients have is the amount of radiation that they are exposed to during the process of taking a digital x-ray. However, patients can rest assured that the amount of radiation exposure is low. Effective radiation from an OPG is about 5 days of natural background radiation (as seen in table below). Effective radiation from smaller versions of dental x-rays such as periapical or bitewing x-rays is only about 6.5 hours of background radiation.
Furthermore, we help to limit patient’s exposure to radiation by the routine use of a lead apron.
In conclusion, there will be some radiation exposure when you are taking a panoramic x-ray, but the amount is not considered harmful. If you have any concerns, feel free to discuss them with your dental specialist/ dentist. If you are pregnant, remember to share it with your dental specialist/ dentist as well so that he/she can advise on the necessity of the procedure.
Need a dental consultation? Make an appointment here for a thorough checkup.
Have any dental enquiries? Fill in the online form or call us at (65) 6734 9393.