Dental X-Rays: What Are They & Why Are They Helpful?

Get The Skinny On Dental X-Rays:

When you go to the dentist and they take pictures of your teeth, these include photos of the teeth, bones, and delicate tissues around them to help uncover potential issues with the teeth, mouth, and jaw. The purpose of the x-ray is to reveal any cavities, hidden dental structures or possible bone loss that can’t be seen during a visual examination. These dental photos are also used after any treatments or procedures to ensure things are going as planned.

Types of Dental X-Rays

Bitewing – These are used to snap a shot of the upper and lower back teeth in one image. Helpful when determining the shape of a person’s bite or to look for decay between the teeth in the back of the mouth.

Periapical – These shots are essentially close-ups of a single tooth from crown to tip of the root.

Occlusal – These focus on the roof or floor of the mouth and are commonly used to locate extra teeth, fractures, clefts, abscesses or other abnormalities in the mouth.

Panoramic – These extend past the teeth to include the jaw and joints, as well as the nasal and sinus areas.

Reasons to Take Dental X-Rays

Since x-rays do generate small amounts of radiation, a common question is why should anyone take the risk to have their teeth x-rays done? There are many benefits to doing this at least once a year (or as needed, per your dentist recommendation).

  • Not every problem can be seen simply by looking into the mouth. While a dentist is experienced is spotting potential problems that you won’t notice, they still can’t see what is going on beneath the surface.
  • Early detection could save you time, money, and your teeth. An x-ray will display decay, bone loss or damage, injury, disease, infection and other concerns that could quickly escalate to bigger problems.
  • Without an overall picture of how the teeth are lined up and the condition they are in, orthodontics would be stumbling in the dark when it came to developing a treatment plan.
  • Not every child’s teeth come in perfectly, or in the right timing, and an x-ray could identify what is keeping the tooth from coming in (or falling out).

While a few people stress over the radiation from X-rays, there truly is no need for concern. Present day innovation has decreased radiation levels to miniscule sums. The American Dental Association has distributed suggestions to reassure families that radiation is as low as possible. Furthermore, dental specialists play it safe using defensive garments and collars to shield patients from radiation. They also make the process brief by utilizing the latest tech.

The most value in dental x-rays come in finding a concern or issue before it becomes a challenge. Early detection, combined with the latest technological advances, are the best approach for keeping teeth healthy. Wouldn’t it be lovely to only go to the dentist when you needed a cleaning because your teeth are so strong and healthy? Dental x-rays help keep you out of the treatment chair and smiling big and proud for the world to see.

Posted in Dental Health, Healthy Life

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