Dental problems are like icebergs! There is more to what is visible through the naked eye. This can mislead dentists due to wrong diagnosis. To overcome these challenges, dental X-rays were introduced.
Northeast Philadelphia dentist specializes in all forms of dental X-rays to help come to a definite diagnosis. An accurate diagnosis is crucial to designing an appropriate treatment plan to help enhance your oral health and quality of life.
What are dental X-rays? How do they work?
Dental X-rays, also called radiographs, are internal images of your teeth and jaws. These are excellent diagnostic tools that help dentists examine the structures that are not visible during a routine checkup, like your alveolar bone, nerves, and teeth roots.
Dental X-rays use electromagnetic radiation to capture images of your mouth. These radiation beams travel through your soft tissues and create images of the teeth and bone.
What can dental X-rays diagnose?
Dental X-rays can help diagnose a wide range of oral health problems, such as
- Dental cavities, especially if the decay involves small areas between the teeth
- Secondary caries beneath existing restorations
- Bone loss in your jaw
- Areas of infection
- The exact position or unerupted or impacted teeth (especially third molars)
- Tooth abscess
- Cysts and tumors (abnormal tissue growth)
Dental X-rays also help determine your eligibility for treatments like:
- Dental implants
Furthermore, dentists can use X-rays to assess the healing process after dental procedures like bone grafting and root canal therapy.
What are the types of dental X-rays?
There are several types of dental X-rays, which include:
- Intraoral X-rays
- Extraoral X-rays
- Cone beam CT scan
Are dental X-rays safe? How often should they be taken?
The amount of radiation exposure from a full mouth series of X-rays is equal to the amount that you may receive in a single day from natural sources. This could be through your smartphones, computers, or television screens. Dental X-rays produce a low level of radiation and are considered safe. Dentists take necessary precautions to limit your exposure to radiation during dental X-rays through:
- Lead aprons to shield your body
- Modern and fast films to cut down the exposure time
The frequency of dental X-rays depends on your individual dental health needs. You will be advised an X-ray only if it is necessary based on the review of your medical and dental history, oral examination, symptoms, age considerations, and risk factors for the disease.
Dental X-rays are essential diagnostic tools for proper oral health and maintenance. These are safe and effective and pave the way for an accurate diagnosis of dental problems.