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1. The Basic Examination and Anesthetic Instruments

1-14. RADIOGRAPHS (X-RAYS)

a. General. Radiographs are indispensable aids in diagnosing many conditions existing within the teeth, bone, or tissues that are not apparent on clinical examination. Information revealed by radiographs includes the following:

(1) Infection and abscesses within the bone and about the roots of the teeth.

(2) Size and shape of roots of teeth to be extracted.

(3) Carious lesions, which cannot be detected in other ways.

(4) Condition of the periodontal bone.

(5) Condition of teeth and bone that have been considered for the support of fixed or removable prosthodontic appliances.

(6) Presence of impacted teeth, supernumerary teeth, or retained roots.

b. Recording Radiographic Findings. Radiographs are usually completely processed before they are interpreted. This often takes place after the examination. If emergency treatment is indicated, the dentist
 may request a "wet reading." At such times the radiographs are processed enough to obtain suitable image for interpretation and diagnosis, and remain attached to the radiograph hanger. Radiographs that have been completely processed and mounted are interpreted by the dentist
, when he is not engaged in examination or treatment procedures. The dental specialist must see that the radiographs are properly mounted and available for the dentist
 for interpretation and must be able to record radiographic findings on dental health records. Radiographs should be kept in the dental health record until they are no longer needed.


David L. Heiserman, Editor

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All Rights Reserved

Revised: June 06, 2015