Dental care is “whole body” care. The health of your teeth and jaw impact your overall health, so dentists do everything we can to prevent and diagnose potential issues before they become obvious and painful. Dental X-Rays are one tool we use to give the best possible care.
There is only so much a dentist or hygienist can see with their eyes alone when examining a mouth. X-rays allow us to see the “unseeable” and use that information to proactively treat the mouth. Some of the things X-rays enable us to do include:
- Detect cavities
- Find and predict gum disease
- Diagnose jaw issues
- Check the health of the bones around teeth
- Make sure the roots of teeth are healthy
- See teeth that are coming in but have yet to erupt
X-rays are an important part of any dental treatment plan for people of all ages. We like to take pictures of all parts of the mouth, though not necessarily all during one routine exam. Bitewing X-rays show the tops of teeth and indicate early signs of dental decay. Periapical X-rays show the entire tooth from crown to supporting bone. Panoramic X-rays are taken from the outside of the mouth and provide a full view of the oral cavity.
How Often Do I Need X-Rays?
When visiting a new dentist you can expect them to order a full set of X-rays in order to provide a complete view of your oral health. After that, the dentist probably won’t need new images at every routine appointment and will instead make an individualized schedule based on your age/needs.
Are Dental X-rays Safe?
In short, yes. Today’s digital imaging technology minimizes radiation exposure. That, combined with the use of leaded covers for the abdomen and neck, make any worry about radiation negligible. This also assumes that you are in good health and not pregnant or breastfeeding. Your dentist will adjust if your medical history requires.
Know What to Expect
If you or your child have never had dental X-rays before (or if it’s been a while), don’t hesitate to ask your dentist to walk you through their reasoning for administering them and what the process will be like. At the end of the day, X-rays help the dentist provide personalized care and help you have a better sense of the parts of your mouth you can’t see!
Vacendak Dentistry uses the latest digital imaging equipment to prevent and diagnose dental issues. Call us today at (757) 609-3510 to schedule an appointment.