How To Take PERFECT Dental X-rays | Tips & Tricks From A Dental Hygienist

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hi everyone my name is whitney and i'm a

dental hygienist if you're new here


if you've been here before welcome back

today we're going to talk about how to

take good x-rays

so for me it's not just how to take a

good x-ray but

understanding what you are looking for

in the x-ray

so yes technique is important and i'll


you some tips right now about technique

but again keep in mind that the best

advice i was ever told was to focus on

making sure

the specific structures in the mouth are

visible in your image

first tip that always helps me with all

x-rays in general whether they are bite

wings or pas

is keeping the sensor in the middle of

the patient's mouth

you don't want it right next to their

teeth you want it sitting right in the


of course this can be hard if there's a

prominent palatal torus but do the best

you can for the sensor to be as close to

the middle as possible

now for bitewings try to get the distal

of the canine in your premolar shot with

digital sensors sometimes you have to

angle the sensor dramatically

so the front of the sensor is basically

touching the canine on the other side of

the mouth

remember to line up the tube with the

teeth not with the rin

not with the circle of course that seems

silly but with my x-ray unit that's what

works for me

maybe with old-school film non-digital

x-rays you can line it up

perfectly but i've found it helps to not

line it up to just

use it as a guide instead really

envision the x-ray

beams going through the teeth which will

help you not overlap

also asking the patient to smile so you

can see their teeth helps a lot as well

so like i said the rin or xcp in my

opinion for digital dental x-rays are

only supposed to act as guides

they are not always great to perfectly

line up with you have to really think

about what you're doing and even

sometimes pretending you're using a snap


that thought process also helps me now

for pas

something that helps me a lot to not

miss the apex of the root you always

want to make sure the root tip is

visible on your images

is to angle the tube sometimes the angle

looks super dramatic and weird again i'm

barely lining it up with the rin itself

could you go too far and your images are

foreshortened or elongated yes

so make sure you don't do that right

practice really does make perfect

and over time you will understand your

x-ray unit

to see how dramatic your angle can be

and needs to be

in addition to angling the tube it's

sometimes super helpful to ask the

patient to put their chin

up or their chin down or to look forward

to help you take a good picture

so chin up usually helps a lot when you


a pa of the lower posteriors and chin


or looking forwards helps when taking

bite wings and you need the patient to

simply look straight ahead

you can also adjust the headrest if they

need extra assistance with this

now you can also move the tab on the

sensor itself i found this helpful as


so sometimes dramatically i keep saying

dramatically but it really feels


anyway moving the tab forward on the

sensor dramatically all the way

can help get far back there to the most

posterior molar on a pa

or in the molar bitewing shot and then

moving the tab backwards on the sensor

all the way to the back can help get the

distal of the canine

in your premolar bitewing shot one more

dramatic thing you can do with the

sticky tab

is to lower it down so you don't miss

the apex of the root so

part of it will actually be hanging off

of the sensor itself

i've found this to really help me when

i'm struggling getting the apex of the


on a pa all right overlapping this is


super hard for the bitewings molar shot

because we are so focused on getting the

most distal part of the farthest back

molar that we forget about lining up the

tube with the teeth

i sometimes ask the patient again to

smile so i can see their teeth and then

i'm able to better envision

the tube going through their teeth

versus just lining up

when they are closed guessing what their

arch looks like in all for me

the most important things to capture in

your images are

one the level of the bone on the

bitewings and not overlapping would be

great too

and two the apex of the tooth on your


and with both bitewings and pas the most

distal of the most distal molar in the

mouth please like and subscribe if this

video helped you i really hope it did

let me know in the comments below if you

have any other tips and tricks in taking

good dental x-rays and if you want more

teeth talk don't forget to visit my


rdh for more articles and videos about

healthy mouths and healthy teeth peace

love and teeth