Dental professionals have long touted the benefits of routine dental x-rays. To monitor jaw and tooth development, detect early signs of tooth decay, and evaluate overall oral health that is not visible to the human eye, dental X-rays have become a normal part of dental therapy. But with the emergence of new technologies, like panoramic x-rays, some dentists are questioning the necessity of routine dental x-rays.
Factors Responsible for the Frequency of X-Rays
While dental X-rays are typically taken once a year, there may be other factors that influence how frequently they are taken. These consist of:
- If your dentist is keeping an eye on a certain problem.
- Your present dental condition.
- Oral disease history and symptoms.
- A history of tooth decay, periodontitis, or gum disease in the form of gingivitis.
Hazards and Safety of Dental X-Rays
There have been discussions about the hazards and safety of dental X-rays for a while. Radiation exposure has been considerably reduced as technology has advanced and has become more sophisticated.
Due to minimal radiation exposure and the use of digital X-rays, which effectively reduce radiation exposure by approximately half, the risk of dental X-rays to human health is now practically nonexistent. Dentists continue to protect the thyroid with a thyroid collar and a lead covering to help lower risk.
Dental X-rays are performed on adults to look for decay in places the dentist can’t detect with the naked eye, like in the spaces between teeth or beneath fillings.
Dental X-rays enable dentists to take preventative measures by warning them of things like bone loss from periodontal disease, showing issues with a tooth’s root, such as infection or nerve degeneration, and searching for additional issues like cysts, cancer, or changes brought on by other disorders.
These can also help your dentist plan, prepare, and install dental work such as braces, implants, dentures, or other dental procedures.
Due to these factors, patients must have dental X-rays taken as needed to check for different oral health issues, preferably at least once a year.
Various Types of Dental X-rays
Dental X-rays come in a variety of forms that capture somewhat varied perspectives of your mouth. Most frequently used are intraoral X-rays like:
- Bitewing X-ray – A view of your canines, premolars, and molars can be seen on a bitewing X-ray. By chewing on a particular piece of paper or plastic, your dentist can evaluate the state of your teeth generally, check for cavities, and gauge the density of your bone.
- Occlusal X-rays – These are taken with your mouth closed to see how your upper and lower teeth line up. They take a single image of all of your teeth. Any abnormalities in the palate can also be found using this X-ray.
- Panoramic X-rays – A machine that rotates around your head while performing panoramic X-rays captures a complete view of your jaw, teeth, and their positioning. An orthodontist or oral surgeon may frequently utilize this X-ray to evaluate treatment options for wisdom teeth removal or corrective and cosmetic dental work. The imaging can also identify any pathology or abnormalities that might be present in the sinuses or jaw.
- Periapical X-rays – These provide your dentist with a complete view by focusing on two teeth from root to crown.
- Digital X-rays: The most recent advancement in dental X-ray technology is digital X-rays, which provide images that may be printed or electronically saved with less radiation exposure. Digital X-rays can be viewed in a way that enables dentists to spot minute changes over time, making them more precise and efficient for spotting alterations.
- Extraoral X-rays: When a dentist has a suspicion that there may be a problem that extends beyond the teeth and gums, most frequently in the jaw, extraoral X-rays are used.
Safe X-ray Technique
X-rays are done by a dentist, hygienist, or dental assistant at our dental office. Here’s what dental clinics do to keep patients safe from radiation.
- To shield your body from radiation, a dental practitioner will cover you in a thick lead apron.
- Then they will place a tiny, plastic device between your upper and lower teeth in your mouth. You’ll be instructed to bite into the chunk while remaining motionless.
- After that, the technician will start taking an X-ray image of the desired location. Although dental X-rays only take a few seconds, they could be mildly painful. This cycle will continue until all the images required for a thorough evaluation are acquired.
- Let your dentist or hygienist know if you have a scheduled appointment and are anxious about getting a dental X-ray; they will be pleased to walk you through the procedure and ensure that you feel at ease during your appointment.
Make an appointment with dentist at Robstown Smiles if you haven’t had a set of X-rays in more than a year so that they can make sure to evaluate your dental health.