9: Occlusal radiography

Occlusal radiography

Occlusal radiography is defined as those intraoral radiographic techniques taken using a dental X-ray set where the image receptor (film packet or digital phosphor plate – 5.7 × 7.6 cm) is placed in the occlusal plane. Suitable sized solid-state digital sensors are not currently available.

Terminology and classification

The terminology used in occlusal radiography is very confusing. The British Standards Glossary of Dental Terms (BS 4492: 1983) is inadequate in defining the various occlusal projections and in differentiating between them. The result is that there is still little uniformity in terminology among different publications and teaching institutions.

The terminology used here is based broadly on the British Standards terms, but they have been modified in an attempt to make them more explicit, straightforward and practical.

Upper standard (or anterior) occlusal

This projection shows the anterior part of the maxilla and the upper anterior teeth.

Technique and positioning

The technique can be summarized as follows:

1. The patient is seated with the head supported and with the occlusal plane horizontal and parallel to the floor and is asked to support a protective thyroid shield.

2. The image receptor, suitably barrier wrapped, is placed flat into the mouth on to the occlusal surfaces of the lower teeth. The patient is asked to bite together gently. The image receptor is placed centrally in the mouth with its long axis crossways in adults and anteroposteriorly in children.

3. The X-ray tubehead is positioned above the patient in the midline, aiming downwards through the bridge of the nose at an angle of 65°–70° to the image receptor (see Fig. 9.1).

Jan 12, 2015 | Posted by in Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology | Comments Off on 9: Occlusal radiography
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