Easy Read Information
Dental X-Ray is where we take a photo of the insides of your teeth and gums. It helps us to understand about your dental problem and disease.
This page gives you more information about what happens when we take an X-Ray photo.
What we do
Dental Radiology is located on the ground floor of the Dental Hospital next to Reception Two with satellite units in other parts of the hospital. We provide dental and maxillofacial plain film imaging together with a cone beam CT service.
What is an x-ray?
An x-ray is a test used to create an image of the inside of the body, like a photograph. An x-ray is often the first point of investigation used by a dentist to establish the cause of any dental problem. No preparation is required.
What happens during the x-ray?
There are different types of x-ray examination. Depending on the type of x-ray you may be asked to remove jewellery and/or hair accessories, as these can interfere with the examination.
You may need to stand in a machine which will move around your head, or bite on a block to help visualise the affected area.
What happens after the x-ray?
When you have been referred from you own dentist for an x-ray, you will be able to go straight home after the examination. Your x-rays will be studied by a radiologist who will send the results back to your dentist.
If you have been referred from within the dental hospital, you will need to go back and see the dentist who referred you. Your dentist will be able to view your x-rays straight away and inform you of the results.
Cone Beam CT Scan (CBCT)
We have a specialised CT scanner at our department in the dental hospital. If you require a scan you will be sent an appointment. Please remember to inform us if you are unable to make your appointment.
All scans are performed on a Morita Accuitomo 170, which is a sophisticated type of CBCT machine and is the only one in this region. All scans performed by specialist radiographers and reported by a consultant in Dental and Maxillofacial Radiology
Being referred to us
You may be referred to us for either an x-ray or a Cone Beam CT scan.
Patients requiring x-rays may be referred from within the dental hospital or their own dentist. You do not need an appointment, but if you are referred from your own dentist please do not attend between 12.30pm and 2pm or after 4.30 pm as you will not be able to be seen. If you have any questions do not hesitate to call us (link to contact page).
If you are referred for a Cone Beam CT (CBCT) scan you will be allocated an appointment. These are undertaken on a Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning. You will receive your appointment letter in the post, if you are unable to attend on the date given please inform us so we can rearrange the appointment
What is a CBCT scan?
A CBCT is a new type of test using x-rays to create 3-dimensional images of you teeth and jaw area. This can be very useful for your dentist for many types of procedures, particularly the assessment of wisdom teeth and for planning dental implant placement.
How is the scan carried out?
Your scan will be taken by a trained radiographer. During the scan you will be seated in a comfortable chair. During the scan it important that you keep very still, so a headband and chin rest is used to support your head. For most patients the scan will take approximately 15 minutes.
What does the scan itself involve?
You will need to remove any earrings, necklaces and facial jewellery/piercings. When you have been positioned in the chair, the chair will be moved into the scan position. Two images will be taken to begin with to aid in the positioning of the scan. Using these images the radiographer will select the area to be imaged and then the machine will move around your head. It will not touch you. After the scan has been taken, you will be asked to remain in the chair until the images have been checked.
What happens after I’ve had my scan?
After you have had your scan you will be directed to a receptionist who will be able to book your follow-up appointment. After this you are free to go. Your images will be looked at by a dental radiologist, who will interpret your scan and send the results to the dentist who referred you for the test.
Should the amount of X-rays I receive worry me?
No. Although x-ray exposure using CBCT is greater than with a standard dental x-ray examination, it is far less than what you would receive with a ‘medical’ CT scan, which is the only other alternative. All CBCT referrals are vetted by a consultant dental radiologist and are only approved if they will have a positive benefit for your treatment and are the most appropriate type of imaging. The radiographer performing your scan will always make the scan area as small as possible to keep exposures as low as achievable.
Frequently Asked Questions
Monday to Friday 9.00 - 1.00pm and 2.00pm - 5.00pm.
Dental Radiology Department
Liverpool University Dental Hospital
0151 706 5100
Head of department – Mr P P Nixon (Consultant Maxillofacial Radiologist)
Acting Unit Lead – Mrs N Fitzgerald (Advanced radiographic practitioner)
Clinical tutors – Mrs S Brown, Miss R Ranson, Mrs C Smith & Mrs J Wood
We also provide clinical training to students of dentistry, dental hygiene/therapy, radiography and dental nursing. We offer a comprehensive range of investigations that are provided by a specialist team, who are all committed to a high level of patient care.