DENTAL EXAMS X-RAYS

What is Dental Exams X-Rays?

Dental X-rays (radiographs) are images of your teeth that your dentist uses to evaluate your oral health. These X-rays are used with low levels of radiation to capture images of the interior of your teeth and gums. This can help your dentist to identify problems, like cavities, tooth decay, and impacted teeth.Dental X-rays may seem complex, but they’re actually very common tools that are just as important as your teeth cleanings.

Why Dental X-rays are Performed?

Dental X-rays are typically performed yearly. They can happen more often if your dentist is tracking the progress of a dental problem or treatment.If you’re a new patient, you’ll probably undergo dental X-rays so that your new dentist can get a clear picture of your dental health. This is especially important if you don’t have any X-rays from your previous dentist.Children may need to have dental X-rays more often than adults because their dentists might need to monitor the growth of their adult teeth. This is important because it can help the dentist determine if baby teeth need to be pulled to prevent complications, such as adult teeth growing in behind baby teeth.

Risks of dental X-Rays

While dental X-rays do involve radiation, the exposed levels are so low that they’re considered safe for children and adults. If your dentist uses digital X-rays instead of developing them on film, your risks from radiation exposure are even lower.Your dentist will also place a lead “bib” over your chest, abdomen, and pelvic region to prevent any unnecessary radiation exposure to your vital organs. A thyroid collar may be used in the case of thyroid conditions. Children and women of childbearing age may also wear them along with the lead bib. Pregnancy is an exception to the rule. Women who are pregnant or believe they may be pregnant should avoid all types of X-rays.

Types of X-rays

Bitewing

This technique involves biting down on a special piece of paper so that your dentist can see how well the crowns of your teeth match up. This is commonly used to check for cavities between teeth

Occlusal

This X-ray is done when your jaw is closed to see how your upper and bottom teeth line up. It can also detect anatomical abnormalities with the floor of the mouth or the palate.

Panoramic

For this type of X-ray, the machine rotates around the head. Your dentist may use this technique to check your wisdom teeth, plan for implanted dental devices, or investigate jaw problems.

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