A bright, healthy and pain-free smile is always the goal with any dentist appointment. To maintain healthy teeth, your dentist may recommend an x-ray, but many patients have concerns about x-rays and their safety. In the following paragraphs, we’re going to break down everything you need to know about dental x-rays before your next appointment.
Why Do You Need Dental X-Rays?
Dentists want to provide the best care possible, but visual examination isn’t going to tell them everything they need to know. X-rays allow the dentist to see inside the tooth and gums, giving a complete picture of your mouth and any problems there may be. It may show the dentist the extent of decay, when there is a cavity, or detect the presence of any cysts or abscesses at the root of the tooth.
Types Of Dental X-Ray
∙ Bitewing: A bitewing x-ray shows the crown portions of your teeth and is used to check for early signs of decay between the teeth.
∙ Periapical: Periapical x-rays provide a good look at your teeth’s bone height or root tips.
∙ Panoramic: This type of x-ray is taken from the outside of your mouth and produces an image of the entire oral cavity.
Are X-Rays Safe?
While there is a small amount of radiation that enters the body during an x-ray, it is a minor contribution compared to the total exposure from all sources, both man-made and natural. Individual state laws set the regulations and specific requirements for radiation exposure, but across the board, the amount used is always the minimal amount needed to get an accurate picture.
What About Children and Pregnant Women?
X-Rays can be done with both children and pregnant women. In the case of pregnancy, precaution is taken by covering the abdomen with a leaded vest that protects the fetus from any radiological interference. With children, because only a small amount of radiation is used, the benefits of dental x-rays far outweigh the risk. It’s important to get a complete image of growing teeth to ensure everything is coming in properly.
Learn More About Dental X-Rays
At North Coast Dental Excellence, we care about your safety and well being. Our dentists will work with you to make sure you have all the information to make the best decision for your dental health. Contact us if you have any questions about x-rays or your dental care.