It is important to schedule annual or bi-annual appointments with your dentist, but not only because of the visual examination they provide. In addition to examining and cleaning your teeth, your dentist will also request that X-rays be taken. These are crucial because dental X-rays can help dentists detect potential problems that are not visible to the naked eye. If you are curious what these X-rays provide for your dentist every time you visit their office, read on to learn more about these useful tools.
What Dental X-Rays Can Show
X-rays, also known as radiographs, let your dentist see between and inside your teeth. They give your dentist the whole picture of your dental health and inform them of the condition of your teeth, roots, jaw placement, and facial bone composition. Dental X-rays can show various problems and help your dentist take action before things become too advanced. Your Dental X-rays can show:
- Small areas of decay between teeth
- Decay beneath fillings
- Bone loss due to periodontal disease
- Cysts and other tumors
- The position of the teeth, which can determine whether implants, braces, or dentures are required
The Primary Types of X-Rays
There are several types of dental X-rays, but the most common are bitewing, periapical, and panoramic radiographs. Bitewing X-rays are used to locate early signs of decay between teeth or bicuspids. Periapical X-rays can be used to focus on just one or two teeth, and a panoramic X-ray can show the entire mouth in one image. The panoramic X-ray can help identify issues like cysts, jaw disorders, and bone irregularities.
How Often Do You Need Dental X-Rays?
Everyone’s oral health varies, so their dental treatments may differ as well. For instance, people diagnosed with gum or dental disease may need X-rays every six months, while others who don’t have ongoing treatments may only need X-rays every couple of years. If you are a new patient or have not gotten dental X-rays done recently, your new dentist will likely recommend a panoramic X-ray to assess your oral health.
Are Dental X-Rays Safe?
According to the American Dental Association, dental X-rays are perfectly safe. They expose you to very low radiation levels, so any harmful effects associated with them are minimal. You can always ask for added protection of a leaded apron to cover your abdomen or a leaded collar to protect your thyroid.
You can avoid needing many X-rays by practicing good preventative oral health care. Brushing twice a day in addition to flossing can prevent tooth decay and lessen the need for X-rays.
Ultimately, it is important to remember that dental X-rays are essential for detecting tooth decay and dental problems as early as possible. They save you money, time, and pain that may be associated with future dental problems.
You Can Trust Olney Dental for All of Your Dental Care Needs
For all of your oral care questions and concerns, Olney Dental has the expertise and professionalism to get them the answers they need. Olney Dental is ready to supply you with expert service in a professional environment. Schedule an appointment online today! For more information on how we can give your family the best dentist experience available, give us a call at (301) 250-1057 or contact us online. For more dental tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest.