29 June 2023

X-ray and CBCT in dentistry – safety, benefits and possibilities

Nowadays, it is difficult to imagine dentistry without radiology. Such imaging technology plays an extremely important role, enabling the assessment of oral structures such as teeth roots and bones, as well as the condition of crowns and even, to a degree, soft tissues.

It allows for a deeper diagnosis of inflammations, cancers, structural abnormalities and complications that may occur during the treatment and healing process.


More and more patients are aware of the safety of imaging techniques and their undoubted benefits. Yet – for the still-unconvinced ones among us – let's consider why dentistry so often draws from the achievements of radiology!



First of all, the benefits of using techniques such as X-rays or cone-beam tomography cannot be overestimated.

Thanks to such methods, doctors are able to detect changes invisible to the naked eye; not only when it comes to concerns such as secondary caries (that is, one developing under an existing filling in the tooth), but also, for example, periapical pathologies forming under and around the root’s apex.


The possibility of diagnosing certain tumors and cancers is also extremely important. Early detection of such abnormalities allows for quick implementation of the treatment and improvement of the overall prognosis, which in turn contributes to increasing the chances of maintaining oral health and avoiding more serious overall problems in the future.



Discussed methods are also extremely beneficial when one is planning surgical procedures – such as tooth extractions, resections or implantations. Providing in advance the needed information regarding anatomical structures, location of nerve canals and the operating space, we may increase the chances for a minimally invasive and safer procedure, one that can be devoid of further complications.

As a consequence, it helps to achieve efficient healing and a quick return to the so-called regular form of everyday life.



Also in case of injuries, proper imaging of such structures like bones or roots not only facilitates the appropriate therapy, but often also affects the choice of the entire treatment plan.

This is more beneficial not only for the overall health condition, but also for the Patient's wallet - by eliminating guesswork and focusing on choosing the most appropriate form of therapy.



To get a better understanding of the aspect of safety, it is worth reading about the ALARA principle, which is a rule that doctors use when preparing Patients for X-rays or the CBCT. Standing for As Low As Reasonably Achievable, the rule obviously refers to minimizing the radiation dose.

More specifically, it sets out the principle of keeping the radiation to the lowest possible level, while remaining sufficient to obtain the diagnostic information that’s needed.

Modern equipment is also optimized to reduce the exposure time and, consequently, the received radiation dose. In its current form, it is often used even when diagnosing small children.



In conclusion, the technologies described here provide not only an important diagnostic tool, but also a way to more accurate and more reliable treatment.

By using modern devices, taking advantage of digitization and following the ALARA principle, the dose of radiation is being minimized - so that Patients can benefit from methods which are safe and crucial for maintaining oral health.





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