You might have had Dental X-ray while visiting your dentist?
Dental X-rays are images of your teeth and jaw that help your dentist to evaluate your overall oral health.
Moreover, with the help of these x-rays, which use low levels of radiation to capture images of the interior of your teeth and gums, your dentist can identify issues.
These issues often include cavities, tooth decay, and impacted teeth.
You might think of dental x-rays as complex, however, they are actually very common tools that as just as important as teeth cleanings.
What exactly are Dental X-rays, their uses, and why they are important preventive and diagnostic toot for your dentist?
These are all the questions we will answer in this article and it will help you to understand the importance of dental X-rays.
Keep on reading to learn more.
Performing Dental X-rays
In most cases, your Arabic female dentist will perform dental x-rays on yearly basis.
However, they can also happen more often if your dentist is tracking the progress of a dental problem or a treatment.
Certain factors affecting how often you should get a dental x-ray may include:
- your age
- current oral health
- any symptoms of oral disease
- a history of gum disease, gingivitis, or tooth decay
Moreover, if you are a new patient, you will probably need to undergo dental x-rays so that your dentist can get a clear picture of your dental and oral health.
This is particularly important if you do not have x-rays from your previous dentist.
Furthermore, your child may need to have dental x-rats more often as their dentist might need to monitor the growth of their adult teeth.
This is crucial as it can help the dentist to determine if the baby’s teeth need to be pulled to prevent any complications.
These could be adult teeth growing behind baby teeth.
In order to take a dental x-ray, your dentist will:
Ask you to sit upright, the assistant will place a lead apron over your chest and wrap thyroid color around your neck.
Next, the x-ray film of senor will be placed in your mouth for the image.
In most cases, you will not feel any discomfort or pain while your dentist takes the image.
The location and size of the sensor placement are the deciding factors in determining your comfort level.
In case the size of your mouth is small, the sensor placement will be challenging while taking a dental x-ray is a painless procedure.
On the other hand, if you have a sensitive gag reflex, then you should inform your dentist.
They can take certain steps to prevent the gag reflex while taking an x-ray.
Most often children are prone to gag reflex and often have a hard time with X-rays.
Types of Dental X-rays
There are different types of dental X-rays, and each one of these can help your dentist to record different views of your mouth.
One of the most common ones is intraoral x-rays. These include:
This type involves biting down on a special piece of paper so that your dentist can see how well the crowns match up your teeth.
Most often, your dentist will use it to check for cavities between your teeth.
Bitewings are typically used every year to help your dentist to detect dental carries and prevent bone levels that house your teeth.
Your dentist will take occlusal x-rays when your jaw is closed to see how your upper and bottom teeth line up.
Moreover, it can help to detect anatomical abnormalities within the floor of the mouth or the palate.
This specialized X-ray helps to reveal valuable information and can show the roof to the floor of your mouth.
These x-rays can show issues like extra teeth, impacted teeth, issues with the jaw, and solid growths like tumors.
For this type of x-ray, your dentist will use a machine that rotates around your head.
It captures your entire mouth in one image and can help to check for issues like wisdom teeth, investigate jaw problems, and plan for implanted dental divide.
For instance, your dentist and oral surgeon will use it to schedule a dental treatment for braces, dentures, extractions, and implants.
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Other Types of X-rays
Some of the other types of Dental X-rays are:
Such an x-rat focuses on two complete teeth, from the root to the crown, and takes a full picture.
An image that comes from this type of x-ray shows the very top of the tooth crown to the very tip of the tooth root.
Periapical X-ray helps your dentist when you experience symptoms with a specific tooth or a follow-up to a procedure.
Furthermore, your dentist can help to determine if there is an abscess, abnormality in the surrounding bone structure, or deep decay.
If you do not get treatment early, it can lead to bone loss.
In case your dentist suspects any issues in the areas outside your gums and teeth, like your jaw, they will recommend an extraoral X-ray.
A dental hygienist will guide you through each step.
They might step outside of the room while they are taking images for a short period of time.
Moreover, they will also instruct your to hold still while recording the picture.
Spaces or film holders will be moved and adjusted in your mouth to obtain proper images.
After taking X-rays
When the images are ready, in the case of digital x-rays it is often an instance, your dentist can review them and check for abnormalities.
If a dental hygenist is cleaning your teeth, your dentist may go over the results of the X-ray, after the process of cleaning completes.
The exception is if the hygenist discovers any problem during the X-ray.
On the other hand, if your dentist finds any issue, like cavities or decay, they will discuss the treatment options.
However, if they don’t, keep up the good work.
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Plain Film vs. Digital X-ray
With advancements in technology, digital x-rays are replacing traditional plain film x-ray.
This is because digital X-rays are easier to use and expose you to a reduced amount of radiation.
Moreover, digital x-rays use specialized sensors to send the image directly to the computer of your dentist.
There they can easily view the image immediately on the screen.
In the case of a plain X-ray, the image might come too light or too dark, and you may have to visit the lab again so that your dentist can take the X-ray again.
On the other hand, your dentist can easily adjust the X-ray on the computer.
Thus, this allows your dentist to read the dental X-very easily.
Furthermore, they can even zoom in on the specific areas of the x-ray and even create a larger image.
Pregnancy and X-rays
One of the important things to note is that dental x-rays are safe during pregnancy.
Researchers are of the view that delaying them and dental work could lead to more complications in the long run.
Moreover, regulatory bodies recommend that wearing a protective apron over your throat and abdomen during radiography, or the X-procedure protects you.
There are good regulations and guidelines in place regarding radiation exposure to a minimum.
However, you should try to limit your exposure to traditions.
X-ray equipment is fairly safe as it uses very little radiation.
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Certain Risks Factors to Consider
While dental X-rays involve radiation, the exposure levels are so low that they are considered safe for both children and adults.
If your dentist uses digital X-rays instead of developing them on film, the risk from radiation exposure is even lower.
In most cases, your dentist will place a lead bib or apron over your chest, abdomen, and pelvic region.
This helps to prevent any unnecessary radiating exposure to your vital organs.
Moreover, they may also use a thyroid collar in the case of thyroid conditions.
Child and women o childbearing may also need to wear them along with a lead bib.
However, pregnancy is an exception to the rule.
If you are conceiving or believe they may be pregnant avoid all types of x-rays.
Make sure to inform your dentist as in most cases, tradition is not considered safe for developing fetuses.
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Just like brushing and flossing are important for your oral health, so it getting regular dental X-rays is an integral part of your overall oral health.
Having a good checkup can be a relief, however, it does not mean that you should not keep getting x-rays. Depending on your age, health, and insurance overage, your dentist can perform X-rays every one to two years.
Make sure to commit to your appointments and see your dentist as soon as possible if you experience any pain or other changes in your mouth.
In most cases, dental insurance plans cover routine X-rats with your dental examination, however, you should check in with your insurance provider for details on your specific plan.