How To Choose The Best Dental X-Ray Machine For Dentists

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Dental X-Ray Machine in the dental clinic is mainly used to assess the teeth structure in a bid to ascertain if they are healthy or have any detectable deformities.

A dentist’s practice premise is one of the places where you may find a lot of equipment around for dental procedures. Understandably so due to the complexity of dental procedures that require a vast assortment of equipment for efficiency in tackling the various dental issues that are presented at the dental clinic.

Let us have a more in-depth look at the equipment that is the dental X-Ray kit.

The Dental X-Ray Machine

The dental X-Ray machine works in the same way as the first X-Ray machine where it emits X-Rays, which are electromagnetic rays. One of the most useful types of equipment that you may come across in the dental clinic is the dental X-Ray machine. The dental X-Ray machine can be said to be very significant in such a setting due to its scope of work.

The machine is also used for plotting purposes when it comes to invasive dental surgery where the dentist wants to know the area for the surgical operation. The X-Ray machine is very significant when it comes to the clinical setting by just looking at the uses it has.

Dental X-Ray Machine How It Works

If you are planning or you already own a dental practice clinic, the X-Ray machine is one of the types of equipment that you need to have in your equipment catalog. However, as a professional, you do not just go purchasing equipment without knowing its use and how it works.

You already have an idea on how the dental X-Ray machine works where it helps in checking the bone structure of the oral cavity. The main question at this juncture is how the dental X-Ray machine works.

To know how the X-Ray machine works, you have to go in-depth to its basis of functionality, which is the X-Ray. A glimpse into the X-Rays will provide you with a stepping stone in getting the concept of the working of the dentists’ X-Ray machine.

 

  • The X-Ray

The X-Ray is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength range of 0.01 to 10 nanometers and was discovered by scientists in the last quarter of the 1800s. The X-Rays can pass through a variety of objects and give out the image on a film of the outline of the object. This is the central concept when it comes to highlighting of bones and teeth in the oral cavity.

Having known what the X-Rays are, we now get back to the dental care X-Ray machine. Here, the X-Ray machine through its X-Ray generator emits a beam of concentrated electrons. The naked eye can not see the X-Ray beams due to their wavelength.

So when the beams come into contact with human tissue, it can produce an image of the outline of the object on a metal film, the same way as in photography. Bones are known to absorb the high energy rays that are why the impression on the metal films mostly depicts the structure and outline of bones.

Soft tissue such as skin and other organs do not have high absorbing power; hence, most of the time, their structure is not seen. However, with some few tweaks on the X-Ray generator, where the ability of the rays is set to different wavelengths, soft tissue can be seen.

 

  • In The Oral Cavity

When it comes to the oral cavity, where a dentist’s majority of work lies, the X-Rays from the dental X-Ray machine are absorbed by the teeth and jawbones. The soft tissue such as the gums and tongue are most of the time not featured due to the earlier stated low absorbency rate of such tissues.

The teeth and surrounding bones that have absorbed the rays appear lighter on the X-Ray film that is usually produced. In case of decay, missing teeth or broken bones, it will be shown by darkened areas on the entire oral cavity depiction on the X-Ray film.

 

  • What Do Dental X-Rays Show?

As earlier indicated, the primary purpose of the dental X-Ray machine is to help in checking the state of the bones and teeth. There are many things that the X-Ray impression on the X-Ray film can help to show, as highlighted below.

  • Checking for cavities on the teeth where it will show as a dark spot.
  • In assessing for tumors in the gum or entire oral region.
  • To check for abscess or bleeding in the gum or mouth. Bleeding or abscess is indicated by a bulging dark spot on the X-Ray film.
  • The dental X-Ray can help in checking for abnormal teeth growth in the gums, which is helpful when coming up with the right corrective measures.
  • In situations where the tongue or gum has been poked or pieced, the X-Ray can help in situating the object used to cause the injury.
  • In some situations where a client has dental implants, the X-Rays help to ascertain the type of material used for the implants. Some elements appear dark while others appear light, which is helpful in identification.

These are some of the issues that a dental X-Ray machine can solve. With an idea of what is precisely ailing the oral cavity, a dentist can come up with a proper measure to treat the condition.

 

  • What Is The Dental X-Ray Film?

The dental X-Ray film is like the central part and also the conclusion to the dental X-Ray exam. The film is where the outline in the structure of the oral cavity is depicted. The film looks like a negative film only more comprehensive and uses light coloration for the structure to be seen well.

On the film, the dentist can look at the focused area of the mouth cavity be it the bones or soft tissue to single out issues affecting it. The X-Ray film is also used for recording and referral purposes in case of any arising medical problem with the client.

Dental X-Ray Machine Types

Dental X-Ray Machine Types

When it comes to dental X-Ray machine types, there are two types that you can pick from depending on the location of the X-Ray films. The two models are the intraoral X-Ray where the X-Ray film is inside the mouth and the extraoral X-Ray where the film is outside the mouth.

Let us view the two types of oral X-Rays in-depth to know more about them.

The Intraoral X-Ray

As earlier stated, the intraoral X-Ray machine is vital in giving the details of the teeth and other associated structures of the mouth from the inside. It is a reliable X-Ray machine, especially when it comes to the assessment of teeth cavities and other injuries in the oral cavity.

Under the intraoral X-Ray, many X-Ray film types can be derived, and each is classified according to the aspect of teeth that they show. Below are some of the X-Rays that are categorized under the intraoral class.

  • Bitewing X-Rays

Bitewing X-Rays are used to check the condition of the back teeth, the premolars and molars. They are either one or two for either side of the mouth and can be used to check the crown of these teeth and help in checking for cavities. The term bitewing is used as the patient is supposed to bite on the films put on either side of the mouth as the X-Ray beam is generated.

The impression appears on the film showing the tooth from its crown down to the level of the supporting bone. Apart from checking on cavities, bitewing X-Rays are also used to determine the size of implants such as crowns or bridges in a bid to strengthen the teeth.

  • Periapical X-Rays

Periapical X-Rays are intraoral X-Rays that are used to check on the whole structure of individual teeth from the crown down beyond the root to the point of attachment to the jawbone. The periapical X-Ray is used in assessing the teeth mostly about its origin and can help in the detection of diseases affecting the source.

It is also reliable when it comes to assessing the jawbone and the gum and see if they have any defects. The periapical X-Ray both captures one tooth or two at once and can check for tumors at the gum level.

For this X-Ray to be taken, a film is placed near the mouth of the patient using a metal rod with a ring. The patient needs to bite on the device with the film firmly as the X-Ray beams are generated.

  • Occlusal X-Rays

Occlusal X-rays are used mostly in kids to assess the growth of teeth. The occlusal X-Rays mainly capture the roof and floor of the mouth and show the underlying emerging teeth in children who are in the teeth shedding age.

The occlusal X-Ray is vital in checking the state of the emerging teeth, assessing for fractures or foreign object and also for checking on abscess or cysts.

Purpose of the intraoral X-Ray machine

  • Checking for cavities on teeth.
  • Assessing for tumors or cysts in the oral cavity.
  • It is checking for foreign objects in the gum, tooth, or bone that may be a source of injury or discomfort.
  • For monitoring the teeth growing process in children

Extraoral X-Rays

The other type of X-Ray machines is the extraoral type that captures the profile of the oral cavity from the outside. It differs from intraoral X-Rays in the placement of the film and the area focused on. The extraoral X-Ray captures the general profile of the mouth checking on the teeth arrangement and the state of the jawbones.

The extraoral machine also has some subcategories under it that are dependent on the area of focus and even the angle of the X-Ray taken among many other variables. Below are some of the X-Ray subcategory types under the extraoral X-Rays category.

  • Panoramic X-Rays

Panoramic X-rays capture the entire profile of the mouth, capturing all the teeth from both the upper and lower jaw extending sides to side. The dental X-Ray machine taking the panoramic X-Ray film first holds the patient’s head in a stable position and goes in a circular area in capturing the jaws entirely.

The film goes around your head while the ray generator is situated behind the head and emits the beams. The panoramic X-Ray is essential when it comes to checking on the integrity of the mouth in checking all teeth are present in addition to checking the jawbone structure.

The panoramic X-Ray can also be used in checking for tumors or coming up with designs for dental implants and braces.

  • Cephalometric Projections

Cephalometric projections X-Ray machines capture the structure of the mouth from one side of the head. It is used in situations where the teeth structure and alignment concerning the jaw and the patient’s profile is the primary point of focus. 

The cephalometric projections X-Ray is used mainly by orthodontists in coming up with a proper teeth realignment approach for maligned teeth.

  • Tomogram X-Ray Machine

The tomogram X-Ray machine for dentists is used in capturing a specified layer of the mouth while blurring out other areas that are not significant. The tomogram X-Ray is used in a situation where specific organs may block a wanted view; hence, the organs are blurred out for a perfect view of the selected area.

The tomogram X-Ray machine is vital in checking out for tumors in the oral cavity and determining whether the tumors are benign or malign.

  • Cone Beam Computed Tomography X-Ray

The cone-beam computed X-Ray machine is used in coming up with three-dimensional images as a representation of a selected structure in the mouth. The cone beam X-Ray is vital in assessing the structure if the jawbone or a single tooth. It is crucial when it comes to designing teeth crowns or bridges and fixing other implants on the tooth.

Dental X-Ray Machine Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages and Disadvantages

The dental X-Ray machine, just like any other equipment has its advantages and disadvantages that come with its use. Let us dive deeper into this.

Advantages Of The Dental X-Ray Machine

The following are some of the perks that you are going to benefit by either owning the dental X-Ray machine or having it used on you as part of a dental procedure.

  • Better Visualization Of The Oral Cavity

One benefit of the dental X-Ray machines is that it allows for the better visualization of the oral cavity in pointing out any problems that may be present. The display of the oral cavity is concerning teeth and bone structure and ascertains if there is an issue among the two structures that can warrant immediate attention.

With a clear view of the mouth, a dentist can come up with a proper diagnosis to help out in case any issue has been detected.

  • Checking For The Presence Of Foreign Objects In The Mouth

The mouth is prone to many injuries considering the things that pass through it. Some of the lesions may be caused by both foodstuffs, such as bones or non-foodstuff material. Sometimes, these materials may be lodged either in the gums, between the teeth or even the tongue being a source of utter discomfort to the patient.

Locating the objects in the mouth may be such a hassle, but with the X-Ray machine, its visualization is more comfortable as it is pointed out during the scans. Its removal becomes simple as its location is now known, and also measures can be made to ensure it does not cause further damage.

  • The Dental X-Ray Is A Prelude To Many Dental Procedures

The dental X-Ray also serves as a prelude to many dental procedures by giving the exact profile of the mouth with bone and teeth structure. The clear presentation of the mouth on the X-Ray film helps the dentist in coming up with a proper treatment plan according to the layout of the teeth.

For example, X-Rays such as the cephalometric X-Rays are used by dental technologists in coming up with a proper alignment technique depending on the jaw configuration and patient profile. In short, the X-Rays are used to give out a clear presentation of the mouth as a guide to the bearing of various dental procedures.

  • For Assessment Of The Mouth Cavity

The X-Ray allows for the assessment of the mouth cavity in checking out for various conditions that may affect the entire mouth. Despite showing only the bone structures, if set to specific wavelengths, the X-Ray is also capable of showing the structure of the soft tissue of the oral cavity. As a result, assessment for injuries, cysts, tumors, or even abscess in the gum or other soft tissue can be made.

Also, blood vessels can be checked and seen if they are damaged or are prone to any infection in addition to dental cavities and broken teeth.

  • Helps In Designing Implants And Other Tooth Modifications

When it comes to dental modifications such as designing crowns, bridges, or even dental braces, the structure of the teeth is essential. X-Ray scans of the mouth help in showing the teeth structure forming a basis of the design of the modifications in size and shape.

The three-dimensional X-Ray presentations such as in tomogram X-Rays, the entire structure of the teeth can be seen, making it possible to come up with a corresponding modification.

  • In Monitoring Teeth Growth In Children

For children who are in the teeth shedding age, their permanent teeth are set under the milk teeth and emerge after dropping for replacement. At times, the permanent teeth may have some disorder making their growth to have some issues such as growth in the wrong direction.

X-Ray scans can show such problems and provide the dentist with a clear visual presentation that can help in fixing the issue and ensure the teeth grow in perfect order.

Disadvantages Of The X-Ray Machine

Despite having so many benefits and helping in different ways, the X-Ray machine also comes with some problems that are highlighted below.

  • The Radiation Is Not Safe For Expectant Mothers

The radiation emitted from dental X-Ray machines is usually considered to be very low and safe for both children and adults. However, when it comes to pregnant mothers, they are advised to steer clear away from the X-Rays.

The radiation, despite being of a low threshold, is enough to cause developmental problems in the fetus and may be born with congenital deformities due to exposure to the rays.

  • The X-Ray Machine Is Quite Expensive

The X-Ray machine is quite expensive when it comes to purchasing. Due to its sophistication, the dental X-Ray machine comes with a very hefty price tag that can be termed as prohibitive.

The costly nature of the dentist’s X-Ray machine is also seen when it comes to operating costs where it, first of all, needs a professional with experience in X-Ray technology to handle it. It also has hefty maintenance costs and can consume much electricity bills.

  • Cost Of The X-Ray Service Is Expensive

Due to the high associated costs in purchasing the X-Ray machine and operation costs, the X-Ray service is way costly in a bid to make it profitable. As such, the service is prohibitive to many due to the cost of getting the service.

  • The Radiation Poses Risks For Certain Conditions

Despite the radiations from the dental X-Ray machines being considered to be very low to cause any dangerous medical situation, long periods of exposure increase the chances of the conditions emerging. For example, the panoramic X-Ray which rotates the head is said to provide a lot of radiation when you go for several subsequent visits.

With much exposure to radiation, you risk getting thyroid diseases, burns problems in pregnancy, and also the risk of cancer among many other conditions. The main point is avoiding overexposure to the X-Rays at whatever cost to keep the diseases at bay.

Acquiring a Dental X-Ray Machine

Setting up a dental practice is one way you can do to live your dream of making it big either as a dentist or an entrepreneur. One of the things that define a dental practice is a piece of equipment that you have in practice. The machine makes it possible for you to diversify your clinic as well as create work easier as is the cliché.

One equipment that can revitalize your dental clinic is the X-Ray machine. The X-Ray machine is going to make your work more natural in many aspects, and it will be such a perfect asset to your clinic.

Why Acquire The Dental X-Ray Machine For Your Practice

So, why should you acquire the dental X-Ray machine?  This is a valid question that you should ask to get more on the X-Ray machine. There are many reasons as to why you need to add the dentist’s X-Ray machine to your equipment catalog, and some of the reasons are as highlighted below.

  • Getting More Clients

The main reason for starting any enterprise is for profitability, which is obtained from having many clients visiting your joint. With the increased demand for X-Ray services, having a working dental X-Ray machine in your clinic is a sure way of hitting the profitability button.

You are going to receive many clients who are seeking the X-Ray services resulting in a change in your revenues.

  • For Ease In Conducting Certain Procedures

One of the main advantages of the dental X-Ray machine as earlier indicated is that it is a prelude to many dental procedures. It helps in giving out an outlook of the state of the dental structure of the patients that your startup may receive. With a bright outlook, many operations can be carried out smoothly, and you can point out the exact cause of the problem.

  • Diversifying Your Practice

By having the dental X-Ray machine, you are expanding your dental clinic by having many services under one roof. You can have all the different X-Ray types under your practice that can make your place stand out as one of the various dental centers offering a lot of services.

The diversification factor acts to your advantage and will attract clients in droves to come and have an experience of your dental care center.

  • To Improve Your Dental Center’s Credibility

As earlier hinted on, a dental center is determined partly by the number of equipment it has that can aid in the treatment of various dental conditions. The X-Ray machine as a piece of equipment will improve your center’s credibility in terms of one of the best owing to the material under its possession. To potential clients, reliability is a factor that proves your center can be trusted to deal with many conditions. 

With credibility on your side, you need to create more space to accommodate the drove of clients that will be visiting your premises.

Dental X-Ray Machine For Sale

Once you have established that you need an X-Ray machine, it is now time to look for one. You can look at classifieds or online stores for a dental X-Ray machine for sale to narrow down your search for a piece of complete equipment.

To get one, you need to first check on the type of X-Ray machine that you want the same to its features to get the right equipment. One of the places where you can get a great dental X-Ray machine is at medical supplies shops where many medical types of equipment are stocked.

Some shops, however, bring such equipment on order basis hence you will have to make an order and make a deposit and pick your equipment at a later agreed date.

Alternatively, you can opt for second-hand dental X-Ray machines that are easier to in the acquisition process. However, you need to be careful when making a second-hand purchase and be sure that you are purchasing a piece of functioning equipment.

Another option you can go for is to import the X-Ray machine, especially if they are not locally manufactured in your country. The downside to importing the X-Ray machine may be the cost of purchase or transportation costs. Also, taxes at the port of reception may force you to dig deeper into your pockets to bring the machine to your clinic.

Dental X-Ray Machine Price

There are many factors that you need to consider when purchasing an X-Ray machine. One of the most important considerations that you cannot afford to overlook is the price. The dental X-Ray machine price is set depending on many factors such as its features and also the type of X-Ray machine.

An X-Ray machine that comes with a lot of features tends to be more expensive due to its lucrativeness. However, the price tag may be out of your reach. That is why you need to accurately look at your selection and get a machine with moderate features and a similar reasonable price tag.

As a point to note, you may find that some of the expensive dental X-Ray machines cost way less in maintenance and operation costs. This means the hefty price tag will be a one tie thing and will not reflect when you start working on it. With minimal operation costs, the return on investment is on a higher ratio making it a worthy purchase when you want to recoup your investment.

You can also opt for second-hand dental X-Ray machines from online dealer sites or even hospitals. The good thing is that they are way cheaper, and at times they may be of impressive quality. The downside is that you can get a faulty X-Ray machine that translates to hefty costs in maintenance and handling. You need to be sure that the X-Ray machine is in an excellent working condition when purchasing to avoid having obsolete equipment at your clinic.

Things to Consider Before Buying A Dental X-Ray Machine

thinking-buying-dental

When you want to buy a dental X-Ray machine, there are many factors that you need to check through with a fine-toothed comb to get the best equipment that will serve you perfectly. Highlighted below are some of the things to consider before buying a dental X-Ray machine.

  • The Demand Of X-Ray Services

Before deciding to purchase an X-Ray machine, you need to be sure that there is enough demand for the X-Ray services. The demand for X-Ray services is steadily growing, with many knowing of its benefits.

However, there are some places where this concept is yet to gain traction, so any does not know of its benefits. Also, the cost of the service may be prohibitive of many making them shun away from dental X-Ray service.

In these situations, it won’t make any sense to acquire the dental X-Ray machine as the demand will not be able to sustain its operation. It is advisable to add the dental X-Ray equipment in your practice if you are sure the demand pool is enough to maintain its running.

  • The Desired Features

Another factor that you need to put into consideration when in a move to purchase the ray machine are the features you want it to have. Some of the desired features in the X-Ray machine is the combination of two or more modes in filming such as panoramic and tomogram modes fit into one.

With such features, your work will be more comfortable when it comes to taking the X-Rays. Such lucrativeness in features, however, make such X-Rays to be expensive on purchase. The cost is justifiable as it is akin to having two different machines in one.

  • Size Of Your Premises

You need to check on the size of your premises and see if it has enough space to accommodate the X-Ray machine comfortably. You need enough space in your premises so that you can operate your dental X-Ray machine without any hassles.

  • Machine Type

The dental X-Ray machine is another factor that cannot be overlooked when purchasing an X-Ray machine. There are several types of X-Ray machines that you can pick categorized either intraoral or extraoral depending on the positioning of the film. You can choose either of the categories depending on the demand or your scope of work as a dentist.

  • Cost Of The Dental X-Ray Machine

No consideration as a lot of emphases, such as the cost of the X-Ray that you want to purchase. You need to check on the price as the X-Ray machine comes with a very hefty price tag.  The most advanced X-Ray machines that come with a host of features that make it easier to be handled. However, such X-Ray machines come at such a high price due to their lucrativeness.

Ensure you get an affordable X-Ray machine with some features for a good bargain. You alternatively can opt for used dental X-Ray machines from second-hand vendors which are way cheaper.

  • Image Quality

The film is preferred to be of the best quality for the proper visualization of the wanted structures. The high quality ensures that it can also stay for long without depreciation. As such, you need to go for X-Ray machines that produce images of the highest quality. Check for film resolution when purchasing one to get the right deal.

Alternatively, you can opt for the tomogram that produces images in three dimensions. Three dimensional models are easy to analyze when looking for the root of the problem.

  • Availability Of Spare Parts

Availability of spare parts should also be a matter of consideration as you look to purchase an X-Ray machine. Check if its spares are readily available in case of any damage during its operation. The availability of spares prevents work from stalling in case the X-Ray machine starts wearing off.

In dealing with spares, go for locally made X-Ray machines which translate to ease in acquiring spares. Despite foreign-made X-Rays at times being of good quality, getting spares may be such a hassle due to the acquisition process such as importation.

Go for X-Ray machines that you can get its spares very quickly.

  • Company Reputation

Company reputation is also a factor to consider when looking for an X-Ray machine. Company reputation is essential when focusing on aspects such as warranty and customer support. It also plays a role when getting a legitimate product.

With a warranty from the company, you are sure to get a refund in case of any damage to the machine. The company may also come through to help with the installation of the X-Ray machine. Additionally, if any issue arises, you are sure of professional help to be accorded to you in sorting out the problem at hand.

  • Power Capacity

The other thing to look into is the power capacity of the X-Ray machine and be sure that it is following your production capability. Do not purchase an X-Ray machine with a higher power capacity than your premises can provide. Such a situation can bring about issues such as power outage to the building, which may be somewhat risky. Low power X-Rays may be a bit slower but are reliable in ensuring the X-Ray runs regardless of the power.

  • Accessories Present

The X-Ray machines may also come with additional accessories such as safety gear like aprons and even X-Ray tables. You should opt for such dental X-Ray machines that save a lot of costs compared to separately purchasing each of the items.

These are some of the factors that you should look into when looking for a perfect X-Ray machine that fits your specifications.

Conclusion

One of the essential types of equipment that you can have in your dental practice is the X-Ray machine. This is mostly due to its various uses that come in handy in a different setting. There are many X-Ray machines that you can opt for each with varying methods.

Also, you have seen the various factors that you need to consider in when you go looking for the best X-Ray machine from Universadent that suits your needs in preference.

Professor of Dental Diagnostic Sciences | Website | + posts

Gail Williamson is a Professor of Dental Diagnostic Sciences at Indiana University School of Dentistry and currently serves as the Acting Assistant Vice Chancellor of Faculty Affairs in the IUPUI Office of Academic Affairs.

A veteran teacher, Prof. Williamson has received numerous awards for teaching excellence during her academic career. She is a co-author of several Radiology textbooks and author/co-author of multiple book chapters, journal articles and continuing education monographs. She presents continuing education courses on topics in Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology nationally and internationally.

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