If you’ve visited us in the last couple of years, you have likely had dental X-rays taken at your appointment. Dental X-rays have become standard practice and are administered annually to help detect any oral health problems that may not be apparent to the naked eye. X-rays at the dentist can identify early signs of tooth decay and any other issues with the jaw or surrounding bones. In children and adolescents, dental X-rays can ensure proper formation of the jaw and teeth. In this blog, we will discuss the importance of X-rays at the dentist and explain why it’s a good idea to get dental X-rays every year.
The Importance of X-rays
As we previously mentioned, X-rays allow dentists to clearly see in areas that wouldn’t normally be visible just by looking inside your mouth. Dental X-rays expose any decay occurring in between the teeth or under a filling. X-rays at the dentist are also essential for preventive care. This technology allows your dentist to identify signs of bone loss, periodontal disease, oral cancers, and infections. If you’re in need of any cosmetic dentistry services, such as implants, braces, or dentures, X-rays provide valuable information for the preparation of your dental plan. Dental X-rays serve as the foundation for both general and cosmetic dentistry, making them an essential part of your overall dental health.
Types of X-rays at the Dentist
Dental X-rays are typically administered on an annual basis, but some circumstances may affect the frequency of X-rays at the dentist. Some factors that may impact X-ray frequency include:
- Dental history
- Your current dental health
- Ongoing dental treatment
While some of our patients have initial questions regarding the safety of X-rays, the latest technology has significantly lowered radiation exposure, making the risk of this exposure virtually non-existent. The team at Ashley Dental will always take additional steps to ensure you feel safe and comfortable. One of the additional steps we take to minimize any risk of radiation exposure is using a lead cover when taking any of our X-rays. Some of the most common X-rays in the dental field include:
- Bitewing X-rays: this technique allows the dentist to closely look at the molars, premolars, and a portion of the canines. Bitewing X-rays have you bite down on a piece of paper or plastic that can allow your dentist to determine if you have any cavities, assess the level of your bone, and gauge the overall health of your teeth.
- Occlusal X-rays: this type of X-ray is a photograph that is taken when your mouth is closed to see how your top row of teeth and bottom row of teeth line up together.
- Panoramic X-rays: Panoramic X-rays are taken with a machine that rotates around your head. This technique is commonly used before a cosmetic dental service or wisdom teeth extraction to help assess the initial state of the teeth prior to beginning the procedure.
What You Can Expect
Dental X-rays can be taken by a dentist, a dental hygienist, or a dental assistant. In most cases, you will have a lead apron placed over your body as an added protection from any radiation. Then, a small plastic tool will be placed between your top and bottom row of teeth. Once the too is in place, all you have to do is bite down and hold still while the dental professional captures a picture. The whole process is quick and easy! Of course, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to let one of our team members know, and we’ll be happy to walk you through the process to ensure you feel comfortable.
Contact Ashley Dental Associates
At Ashley Dental Associates in North Charleston, we believe clear communication is key to the satisfaction of our patients. For anything dental-related, including the importance of X-rays at the dentist, contact Ashley Dental Associates. We are always here to provide care, information and to make recommendations for all of your dental needs. Schedule an appointment today by calling us at (843) 767-2600.