Dental Technique Charts
Technique charts are tables that contain settings to be selected on the x-ray
control for a specific anatomical part. These factors control the amount of
radiation delivered to the patient and to the film. When the technique chart has
been developed properly and the film processing is optimized, the selection from
the technique chart will ensure the least amount of radiation for the optimum film
density and produce a consistently good-quality radiograph.
In intraoral radiography, it is common to have a
“fixed” kVp and mA, leaving only one variable, the
time. If the vendor who calibrated the x-ray unit lists
a maximum technique, it does not mean that it is to
be used on everyone. The maximum technique
should mean that going above that will exceed the
amount allowed for a bitewing. However, if the
patient is very large or when exposing a posterior
molar, exceeding that maximum may be necessary
to produce a quality radiograph.
Minnesota Rules on Ionizing Radiation require that technique charts for all
intraoral radiography list the bitewing technique, the patient size (small, medium,
large for adults) and a setting for pediatrics. The speed of the film you use is
also to be listed on the technique chart. (The pan and ceph units need technique
charts, too.) Remember to update your technique charts when you change to a
different film, new unit, or new screens.
Digital radiography for dentistry is becoming more popular. You must have a
technique chart for the digital units as well.