5 real world dental radiograph hacks


What can spiral perm rollers, a tree at noon and your own opposable thumbs teach you about taking dental radiographs? Heidi Lobprise, DVM, DAVDC, explains.

Heidi Lobprise, DVM, DAVDC, is a veterinary dental expert with Main Street Veterinary Hospital and Dental Clinic in Flower Mound, Texas. She offers five fun hacks to take great dental radiographs.


Can't watch right now? Check out this quick overview:

1. A tree at noon casts no shadow. If you aim the x-ray perpendicular to the film, when the tooth and film are not right up against each other, it's much like a tree at noon that casts no shadow. So an x-ray perpendicular to the film is too short. 

2. Flexible spiral perm rollers can save the day. They're ideal for keeping your sensor or the film in the mouth easily, and they work as soft mouth gags too.

3. Tamp down your type A personality. Remember, radiographs need to be diagnostic, not perfect. So take a breath and take your next radiograph.

4. Use those opposable thumbs. Dr. Lobprise says, "When I'm teaching people to identify what tooth is on the film, as I'm looking at the film I have them lift up their fingers and I have them match their thumbs to the distal root of the upper fourth premolar, their fingers to the two front roots, and when it matches up-thumb, two fingers-then that's the side of the mouth that the tooth is on-for example, the upper right fourth premolar." (Watch the video for visual demonstration.)

5. Be the beam. If you're not a very visual person, imagine you are the beam. Where would you need to go through the tooth to make an image on the film?

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