Dental Imaging

Dental Imaging

In this section

In This Section

The tooth behind dental imaging

  • Dental radiography is a long-established aspect of modern dentistry, with the first instance of its use dating from 1896, just a year after Wilhelm Röentgen’s discovery of X-rays.
  • Across the UK, more dental radiographs are taken each year than any other form of X-ray diagnostic image, and the various forms of dental X-ray imaging now available have become indispensable tools in the efficient diagnosis of disease and the effective planning of treatment.
  • Dental radiography may take place in dental practices, community facilities or hospitals.

The role of the diagnostic radiographer in dental radiography

Diagnostic radiographers:

  • can learn about dental radiography techniques and maxillofacial imaging during their pre-registration education and training.
  • may go on to perform these techniques as part of their post-registration job role in specialist facilities or as part of their core service provision for trauma and Max Fax patients.
  • can provide a full range of imaging techniques using plain x-rays, panoramic imaging, cone beam CT, CT, MRI PET scans and ultrasound within the scope of practice for which they have been educated, trained and assessed as competent.
  • can develop their skills into enhanced and advance roles and perform more invasive examinations such as interventional sialography.
  • can develop expertise through formal post-graduate education to report on the resultant examination.


Dental Radiography Resources

  1. General Dental Council Scope of Practice for Dental Practitioners
    Dentists, dental nurses, dental hygienists and dental therapists have their scope of practice defined by The General Dental Councils Scope of Practice for Dental Professionals.
  2. Guidance Notes for Dental Practitioners on the Safe Use of X-Ray Equipment (2nd edition)
    The Guidance Notes for Dental Practitioners on the Safe Use of X-Ray Equipment (2nd edition) provides further information on the scope of practice, standards and legal responsibilities of those supplying dental x-ray services.
    A range of appropriately educated and trained healthcare professionals may refer to, take, and report on dental x-rays and maxillofacial (max fax) images.
  3. Radiation Protection in Dental Radiology | IAEA
    This Safety Report provides guidance on meeting the requirements for radiation protection and safety in uses of ionising radiation in dentistry established in IAEA Safety Standards Series No. GSR Part 3, Radiation Protection and Safety of Radiation Sources: International Basic Safety Standards.

SoR Guidance