Dental X ray

Dental Xrays and It’s Impact on Dental Health Industry

Dental X rayDental X-Rays also known as radiographs is now a crucial part of any dental treatment. This diagnostic tool helps dentists detect diseases and show cavities, bones loss or hidden dental structure which otherwise cannot be detected in a visual examination.

Why dental X-rays are done?

1. Find problems like tooth decay, bone damage supporting the teeth.

2. Detect cysts, abscesses, tumors

3. Planning treatment for extensive root canal surgery, dental implants, cavities and complicated tooth removal

4. Orthodontic treatment

5. Teeth that do not break through the gum perfectly.

Categories of X-rays

Dental X-Rays can be divided into two categories – Intraoral and Extraoral X-Rays

Intra Oral X-rays

These are most common types of X-Rays and each shows different feature of the teeth

1. Bite Wing X-rays – It display the details of lower and upper teeth. It can help determine the exact fit of a crown and bridges. It can also detect any breakdown of dental fillings. It also identifies teeth decay and any change in bone thickness which eventually causes gum diseases.

2. Occlusal X-Rays – Offers a clear view of the mouth to display the bite of the lower and upper jaw. These X-rays highlight the children’s tooth – primary baby and permanent teeth.

3. Panoramic – Shows a view of the jaws, sinuses, joints of the jaw, nasal area and usually recommended when the patient needs to go through implant placement

4. Periapical – Shows the whole tooth from the root to the crown where it attaches to the jaw.

Extraoral X-rays

These are used to identify the problems in jaw and skull.

1.Tomograms – Shows a particular layer of the mouth. It examines the structure that are difficult to see.

2. Panoramic X-rays- Shows the entire interior of the mouth including lower and upper jaws in one single X-Ray

3. Cone Beam CT- It creates the 3D images of soft tissues, dental structure, bones and nerves. It can also detect problems in gums, root of the teeth and jaws.


side effects of radiation therapy

Side Effects of Radiation Therapy on Dental Health

Radiation therapy, also called radiation oncology, is the use of ionizing radiation to treat cancer. Because radiation affects cancerous and healthy cells, your dental health has the same risk of being affected by radiation therapy. Below are side effects of radiation therapy on dental health.

Dry mouth and teeth decay

Radiation therapy, especially in the head and neck, can damage the salivary glands, which can cause thick sticky saliva and extreme dryness in the mouth. A dry mouth can increase your chances of teeth decay and infection.

side effects of radiation therapy

Red and sore mouth and swallowing problem

Radiation therapy can cause sores in mouth which can result to difficulty when swallowing.


Damaged taste buds

Radiation therapy can damage taste buds, which leads to loss of taste.

side effects of radiation therapy

Erosion of teeth

The destruction of teeth or cavities, which can occur due to dry mouth. That’s why it is recommended to use the fluoride treatment throughout life, prescribed by your dentist.


Stiff Jaws

Radiotherapy can result to damage to the jawbone, called osteoradionecrosis. This is a rare but serious complication of radiation. Your risk of this damage is higher if you have bad teeth left in place when receiving radiation.

Some of the above side effects will disappear after you finish the treatment, while others may not go away as quickly as radiation therapy ends. Loss of taste, for example, may subside faster than tooth decay, which requires your help to return to control when you resume your regular diet.

Reducing Side Effects of Radiation Therapy on Dental Health

Maintaining your mouth in the best health state before, during and after radiation therapy / radiotherapy can help reduce some of the side effects and will allow you to focus on your overall healing. Plan the appointment of a dentist before you start it so that you and your dentist can work together as part of a dental care plan that keeps you and your mouth healthy and without complications.



Although the side effects may not painful, they can make it hard to talk, swallow or even worse prevent you from eating. If they become worse, radiotherapy may be decreased or even canceled until you improve.

When radiotherapy is indicated, it is necessary first to assess the health of the oral cavity, as well as during therapy. Your oral health is important to your general health with radiation therapy, so make it a priority.




Visit our box hill dentist partners and learn more about precautions and immediate remedies when exposed to radiation thus prevent or minimize dental health issues.