X-ray imaging is the use of a type of electromagnetic radiation that allows us the ability to see through a person’s skin and reveal images of the bones beneath it. There have been great advances in the technology that have led ever greater applications, from imaging micro biological cells and structural components of materials like cement to killing cancer cells.  

Wilhelm Conrad Röentgen, a professor at Würzburg University in Germany, discovered X-Rays in 1895 when he noticed crystals near a high-voltage cathode-ray tube exhibiting a fluorescent glow, even when he shielded them with dark paper.

Experiments showed that this radiation could penetrate soft tissues but not bone, and would produce shadow images on photographic plates. He went on to take the first ever X-Ray, pictured on the left, of his wife’s hand! Ever since this discovery, X-Rays have become an invaluable tool, providing diagnosis as well as tracking recovery in patients.

SO how does your X-Ray get taken – “Radiation” is directed at the part of your anatomy that requires inspection and onto a film or other type of detector on the other side. A shadow-graph is created that shows the internal features mainly bone and high density materials like your jaw and teeth.

The Durban North Smile Center is able to provide Panorex, Cephalometric and Intra-Oral x-rays depending on the requirement of the practitioner or planned treatment, contact us for more information.

The cephalometric x-ray (referred to as a Ceph) basically focuses on the side view of a patient head. It is used primarily for Orthodontic treatment planning and progress monitoring normally first taken during the orthodontic records appointment. They are also used by cranio facial specialists such as Maxillofacial Surgeons and Ent’s.

Having a Panorex x-ray is very similar to having a cephalometric x-ray taken. A panorex x-ray is able to ‘flatten out” the lower and upper jaw so all the teeth are visible in one image. Like a two dimensional image of you entire lower and upper jaws.

Regularly used for orthodontic assessments, diagnosis of wisdom teeth impaction, diagnosis of advanced periodontal disease, assessment of the jaw joint, as well as for detecting signs of oral cancer.

Intra Oral X-rays are the most commonly used in dental practices. They are able to take a snapshot of a localized area and provide imaging of the tooth, gums, roots and surrounding anatomy. A sensor goes inside the mouth behind the local area of interest and the tube like machine sits on the outside of the mouth. This type of X-ray is also used by Oral hygienists.