Dental radiographs (X-rays) are essential, preventative, diagnostic tools that provide valuable information not visible during a regular dental exam. Dentists and dental hygienists use this information to safely and accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities and complete an accurate treatment plan. Without X-rays, problem areas may go undetected.
Dental X-rays may reveal:
- Abscesses or cysts.
- Bone loss.
- Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors.
- Decay between the teeth.
- Developmental abnormalities.
- Poor tooth and root positions.
- Problems inside a tooth or below the gum line.
Detecting and treating dental problems at an early stage can save you time, money, unnecessary discomfort, and your teeth!
Are dental X-rays safe?
We are all exposed to natural radiation in our environment. The amount of radiation exposure from a full mouth series of X-rays is equal to the amount a person receives in a single day from natural sources.
Dental X-rays produce a low level of radiation and are considered safe. Dentists take necessary precautions to limit the patient’s exposure to radiation when taking dental X-rays. These precautions include using lead apron shields to protect the body and using modern, fast film that cuts down the exposure time of each X-ray.
How often should dental X-rays be taken?
The need for dental X-rays depends on each patient’s individual dental health needs. Your dentist and dental hygienist will recommend necessary x-rays based on the review of your medical and dental history, dental exam, signs and symptoms, age consideration, and risk for disease.
A full mouth series of dental X-rays is recommended for new patients. A full series is usually good for three to five years. Bite-wing X-rays (X-rays of top and bottom teeth biting together) are taken at recall (check-up) visits and are recommended once or twice a year to detect new dental problems.
There are a variety of different Xrays taken in our office and all are Digital
- Full mouth series of 18 individual xrays: to look for decay between teeth and at the tips of the roots of the teeth to check for any infections
- CBCT 3D cone beam xray to check airway, TMJs, position of upper and lower jaws, sinuses. Gives much more detailed images when looking for source of pain.
- Bitewings: Taken periodically, Depending on cavity risk to look for new decay.
- Periapical: To look at roots of teeth to determine if infection exists.
- Panoramic: Our office typically takes this around age 8 to look for existence of all permanent teeth and existence of wisdom teeth
- Extraoral Bitewings: For those who gag easily we can use our 3D cone beam to see between the teeth.
After xrays we have homeopathic remedy to help the body flush minimal radiation in the body.