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Dental radiography (part 2)

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Full mouth series

A full mouth series is a complete set of intraoral X-rays taken of a patients' teeth and adjacent hard tissue. The full mouth series is composed of 18 films:

four bitewings; two molar bitewings (left and right); two premolar bitewings (left and right); eight posterior periapicals; two maxillary molar periapicals (left and right); two maxillary premolar periapicals (left and right); two mandibular molar periapicals (left and right); two mandibular premolar periapicals (left and right); six anterior periapicals; two maxillary canine-lateral incisor periapicals (left and right); two mandibular canine-lateral incisor periapicals (left and right); two central incisor periapicals (maxillary and mandibular)

Extraoral radiographic views Placing the radiographic film or sensor outside the mouth, on the opposite side of the head from the X-ray source, produces an extra-oral radiographic view. A lateral cephalogram is used to evaluate dentofacial proportions and clarify the anatomic basis for a malocclusion, and an antero-posterior radiograph provides a face-forward view.  



Panoramic films

A panoramic film, able to show a greater field of view, including the heads and necks of the mandibular condyles, the coronoid processes of the mandible, as well as the nasal cavity and the maxillary sinuses.

Panoramic films are extraoral films, in which the film is exposed while outside the patient's mouth, and they were developed by the United States Army as a quick way to get an overall view of a soldier's oral health. Exposing eighteen films per soldier was very time consuming, and it was felt that a single panoramic film could speed up the process of examining and assessing the dental health of the soldiers; soldiers with toothaches are not very effective. It was later discovered that while panoramic films can prove very useful in detecting and localizing mandibular fractures and other pathologic entities of the mandible, they were not very good at assessing periodontal bone loss or tooth decay.

Computed Tomography

There is increasing use of CT (computed tomography) scans in dentistry, particularly to plan dental implants; there may be significant levels of radiation and potential risk.

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