Dental x rays are an integral part of dental practice. It’s impossible to practice dentistry without x rays. From diagnosis till final results, each step in dental treatment requires an x-ray.

Let’s see in brief about types of x rays, their uses, advantages and precautions to be taken while using them.

Types of X-rays in Dentistry

  1. Intraoral periapical radiograph (IOPA).
  2. Orthopantomograph (OPG).
  3. Lateral cephalogram.
  4. Cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT).

Intraoral Periapical Radiograph (IOPA)

These are x rays cover complete tooth / few teeth including some region below teeth. They are helpful in Day-to-day Practice and usually taken during most dental treatments. There are two main types of IOPA

  1. Film-based IOPA
  2. Radiovisiography ( RVG ) / Digital IOPA

Film-based IOPA

Film based are conventional x-ray films that are when exposed to x rays, record the images and once developed with a developer, produce the black and white images of hard tissues on film. It requires a developer and fixer to produce an image on film.

They are small in size and difficult to read images. It requires more exposure of x rays. Difficult to keep these films stored for a longer time and it loses the details of images after a few days/months.

Radiovisiography ( RVG ) / Digital IOPA

It’s an advanced form of the periapical radiograph. It has a sensor, which is attached to the computer/laptop. Once exposed to X-ray radiation, it produces an image instantly on the computer.

Radiovisiography ( RVG ) / Digital IOPA
Radiovisiography ( RVG ) / Digital IOPA
Advantages of Radiovisiography (RVG)
  • It requires 10 times less x-ray exposure than normal IOPA. Minimum exposure reduces the risk of x-ray radiation-related health hazards in long run.
  • It produces a digital image of teeth and the surrounding bone and can be enhanced, zoomed in and out as per requirement. The image can be edited and transferred to any device. It helps to see minor details of teeth and surrounding structures which is beneficial in proper diagnosis and perfect treatment.
  • Digital images can be stored in laptop software for a long time and this digital record remains in software.
  • It helps to explain the problem to the patient and the patient can easily understand. These images can be printed on paper and can be sent to the patient if required.

Orthopantomograph (OPG)

OPG is usually advised to the patient with multiple teeth problems, Patient with temporomandibular joint disorders, pre-implant analysis. OPG is full mouth x rays that involve upper and lower jaws including all teeth, maxillary sinus, bilateral temporomandibular joints.


Lateral cephalogram

It is the lateral x-ray of teeth, jaws and complete face including the head. It is particularly used in orthodontic treatment planning.

Lateral cephalogram
Lateral cephalogram

Cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT)

It is the most advanced digital x-ray. It gives three-dimensional images of jaws, teeth and surrounding structures. It has many uses in dentistry.
it helps in endodontic treatment, it provides all the details of teeth, like the number of roots, number of canals, size of the periapical lesion, fracture of root and go on.

CBCT is a must for Dental implant treatment. It provides all details of the implant site, the thickness of bone, width of bone, anatomical structures present at and around the implant site. Also, help to decide the size of the implant.

Pre implant & post-implant placement analysis with cbct is important to step in implant practice.

Conclusion: These are the various type of dental X-ray which is commonly used in Dentistry. If your dentist prescribes a dental X-ray and looking for a convenient dental x-ray nearest to you, then contact us. At Microdent dentistry, we provide all type of dental X-ray in Pune.

About Author:

Dr.Rohit Joshi
Dr.Rohit Joshi

Dr. Rohit Joshi is a renowned Dentist in Pune and having more than 5 years of experience in the field of dentistry. He is Mastered in conservative dentistry and endodontics. He also specialises in single visit painless root canal treatment and aesthetic dentistry. He is always contributing his knowledge of dentistry through his blog. Learn More about Dr. Rohit Joshi.