X-rays, also known as radiographs, are a fundamental part of any dental treatment plan. An x-ray provides a picture of teeth and jawbone that aids in the diagnosis of any abnormalities in the mouth. It allows the dentist or hygienist to see problems with the teeth or jaw that may not have been visible with a routine visual examination.
Bite-Wing shows the detail of both the lower and upper posterior (back) teeth. This type of x-ray shows how these teeth touch one another and helps to determine if decay is present. Bite-wings also help detect decay between the teeth as well.
Periapical provides a view of the entire tooth, from the crown to the bone that helps to support the tooth. They are used to detect unusual changes in the root structure or surrounding bone.
Panoramic provides a view of the entire mouth: the teeth, jaws, nasal area, sinuses and the joints of the jaw. It is typically taken when a patient needs orthodontic treatment or dental implants.
Occlusal provides a clear view of the floor of the mouth to show the bite of the upper or lower jaw. This type highlights children’s tooth development to show the primary (baby) and permanent (adult) teeth.
Digital x-rays produce a significantly lower level of radiation compared to traditional dental x-rays. Not only are they better for the health and safety of the patient, but they are faster and more comfortable for the patient. Additionally, the image is captured electronically, therefore there is no harmful disposal of waste and chemicals into the environment.
Though digital X-Rays produce a low level of radiation and are considered very safe, dentists still take necessary precautions to limit the patient’s exposure to radiation by use of lead apron shields to protect the body. Please ask us if you have any questions or concerns.
Without using x-rays, dentists may miss decay that is beginning to form between the teeth. By the time a cavity that begins between the teeth is large enough to be detected without x-ray the tooth may require a larger filling. An undetected cavity can grow larger and may even lead to the need for a root canal if the nerve becomes infected.
Preventative measures help reduce or eliminate more serious health and dental issues in the future. This saves you both time and money, with fewer invasive procedures.