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What X-Rays See That You Don’t

One of the most important routine dental procedures performed to ensure that your teeth remain healthy is a dental x-ray. They are a valuable part of dental treatment due to the fact that they can detect damage to your teeth and gums that may not be visible to the naked eye during a regular checkup. X-rays are capable of showing many things, including the condition of your teeth, their roots, your jaw placement and structure, and the general composition of your facial bones. X-rays are further capable of showing your dentist the presence or degree of gum disease, cavities, abscesses, and other abnormal growths, including tumors and cysts. X-rays are also helpful for discovering conditions associated with impacted teeth as well as teeth that are not fully developed.

What Kind of X-Rays Are Typically Taken?

dentist x-rayThe most typical x-ray taken by dentists is the bitewing x-ray. This method involves the patient biting down on a piece of plastic that contains x-ray film in the center. These types of x-rays are typically used to predict the presence of decay in between teeth. The reason this x-ray type is the most common is that decay presence in between teeth is one of the most common areas where bacteria that causes tooth decay can reside.

An additional common type of x-ray is periapical x-rays. These give the dentist an entire view of the tooth, including the roots. Using periapical x-rays, dentists can evaluate an individual tooth’s root structure as well as bone level. This allows them to detect such abnormalities as cysts and abscesses.

What is a Panoramic X-Ray?

A panoramic x-ray, or panoramic radiograph, is useful to your dentist for many reasons. It allows the dentist to examine the whole mouth, including both the upper and lower levels, in a single photograph. This allows the dentist to have the clearest image of any issues that may be occurring in the mouth and may be difficult to see up close. Panoramic radiographs, or x-rays, are commonly used in predicting the development of children’s teeth as well as any problems that may occur in teenage wisdom teeth.

Why Might Different Types of X-Rays Be Used Collectively?

As mentioned previously, different types of x-rays are used to examine different parts of the teeth and jaw for unique reasons. Combining multiple x-rays may allow a dentist to examine multiple potential problems from different angles. Additionally, using more than one x-ray can provide peace of mind in knowing that all potential problems have been addressed. While a panoramic x-ray may provide a view of the entire mouth, the individual attention through a closer view that a bitewing x-ray can provide may address issues that need to be examined more closely. Only your dentist can make the best possible recommendation as to what the best option for your dental situation may be.

Is Radiation Exposure a Concern?

X-rays are only prescribed when necessary and all certified dentists should be knowledgeable in regards to the best equipment to utilize with the correct frequency of use to minimize patient exposure to radiation. Using the most up to date equipment, procedures, and film, your dentist can conduct an x-ray while ensuring you are not exposed to dangerous levels of radiation. Simple procedures include the use of a protective, heavy lead apron to shield your body from x-rays. The neck is usually covered with the collar of the shield, called a thyroid shield, to protect the thyroid gland from radiation. Your doctor should always be able and willing to explain the safety considerations to you during the procedure.

What Risks Are Associated With Avoiding X-Rays?

Some patients choose to forgo any x-ray procedures due to concerns involved with fear of radiation. There are even certain individuals that may avoid the procedure due to fear of discovering a problem rather than fear of radiation. These concerns need to be addressed with correct knowledge in order to address the concern associated with fear.

First and foremost, as mentioned, x-rays conducted by a professional dentist place patients in the lowest risk for any kind of dangerous radiation exposure. To put it simply, if you are comfortable with your dentist in the first place, you should be comfortable with them performing a routine dental x-ray to examine your mouth for any dental concerns. In regards to the second concern, it’s important to understand that avoiding a problem is only going to make it worse. Just because you can’t see a problem doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Problems that remain unseen only develop worse and often result in more costly, complicated procedures. Sometimes allowing a problem to go unresolved may cause permanent changes to your oral health that you will have to live with simply because you didn’t want to take an x-ray. This is an important issue that can be avoided by simply accepting an x-ray from a trained dentist.

Choosing a Professional Dentist for an X-ray

Choosing a professional dentist for x-rays is as simple as choosing a dentist for any other dental procedure. As x-rays are a common part of regular dental checkups, your regular dentist should be able to handle the situation with due care. If you are looking for a regular dentist for dental checkups and x-rays, you’re in luck.

City Dental Centers is happy to provide dentists to our community. Our professionally trained dentists exercise care in all our dental procedures, including, but not limited to, x-rays, teeth cleaning, oral surgery, general dentistry, specialty dentistry, and children’s dentistry. Whatever your concern in matters involving oral hygiene, we are here to assist you in a happier, healthier way of living and taking care of your teeth.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment, contact us today at 1-888-553-7775.

Dental Xrays Santa Ana