This chapter summarizes the more important practical aspects of dental X-ray generating equipment. There are several different units available from various manufacturers. They vary in appearance, complexity and cost, but all conventional units consist of three main components:
These dental units can either be fixed (wall, floor or ceiling mounted) or mobile (attached to a sturdy frame on wheels) as shown in Figs 3.1A and B. A recent development has been the production of hand-held dental units, as shown in Fig. 3.1C, particularly useful for domiciliary and forensic radiology.
• The collimator – a metal disc or cylinder with central aperture designed to shape and limit the beam size to a rectangle (the same size as intraoral film) or round with a maximum diameter of 6 cm (see Figs 3.3 and 3.4)