It is essential that proper radiographs be taken of the tooth to be removed. In general, periapical radiographs provide the most accurate and detailed information concerning the tooth, its roots, and the surrounding tissue. Panoramic radiographs are used frequently, but their greatest usefulness is for impacted teeth as opposed to erupted teeth.

For radiographs to have their maximal value they must meet certain criteria. First of all, they must be properly exposed, with adequate penetration and good contrast.The radiographic film should have been properly positioned, so that it shows all portions of the crown and roots of the tooth under consideration without distortion (Fig. 7-S). The radiograph must be properly processed,
with good fixation, drying, and mounting. The mounting should be labeled with the patient’s name and the date on which the film was exposed. The radiograph should be mounted in the American Dental Association standardized method, which is to view the radiograph as .if looking at the patient; the raised dot on the film faces the observer. The radiograph should be reasonably current so as to depict the presently existing situation. Radiographs older than 1 year should probably be retaken before surgery.Finally, the radiograph must be mounted on a view box that is visible to the-surgeon during the operation. Radiographs that are taken but not available during surgery are of no value.

The relationship of the tooth to be extracted to adjacent erupted and unerupted teeth should be noted. If it is a primary tooth, the relationship of its roots to the underlying succedaneous tooth should be carefully noted. It is possible that the extraction of the primary teeth can injure or dislodge the underlying tooth. If surgical removal of a root or part of a root is necessary, the relationship of the root structures of adjacent teeth must be known. Bone removal should be performed judiciously whenever it is necessary, but it is particularly important to be careful if adjacent roots are close to the root being removed.

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