When you visit a new general dentist for the first time, you will normally be asked to get some dental x-rays. These x-rays will most likely be done every year or two, depending on your age and the dental procedure you need to perform. Children may undergo the procedure more often so that the dentist can keep track of how their adult teeth are coming in. This gives the dentist time to take care of any possible problems, such as not having enough room for wisdom teeth or having an adult tooth grow over a baby tooth. What exactly are dental x-rays, and are they safe? Read on to find out.
What Are Dental X-Rays?
Dental x-rays use low levels of radiation to get an image of your teeth. They create a picture of the visible surface and the roots and the jaw’s underlying bones. This allows a dentist to see everything that is going on inside your mouth to assess any problems present now. They can also assess possible future problems. There are several different types of x-rays, each having a different purpose. Today, dentists sometimes utilize digital x-ray technology, which is quicker and safer.
Types of Dental X-Rays
There are several different types of dental x-rays. They are designed to give different information so the dentist can be best informed regardless of the dental procedure in question. The different types are:
- Bitewing – This is the type you are probably most familiar with where you bite down on a piece of cardboard-type material. It is used for detecting between-teeth cavities.
- Occlusal – This x-ray is performed with your jaw closed and is used when the dentist wants to see how your teeth line up or look at the roof or floor of your mouth. It captures all your teeth at once.
- Panoramic – This x-ray has you sitting still, and the machine rotates around your entire head. This gives the dentist a look at your teeth from every possible angle. This procedure helps analyze jaw problems and helps assess your mouth for dental procedures such as implants.
- Periapical – This procedure gets a complete picture of two teeth that are side by side. It captures the entire view from root to crown.
The dentist will determine which type of x-ray is necessary for your particular needs. It is important to keep in mind that a dentist is not concerned only with your teeth. The dentist also examines your jaw, palate, and the floor of your mouth so they can get a complete picture of everything that is affecting your teeth.
Are Dental X-Rays Safe?
The level of radiation used for dental x-rays is so low that it is perfectly safe in most instances. The dentist normally provides you with an apron that keeps the rays from reaching vital organs. If you are pregnant, however, it is important to let the dentist know. This is one of the circumstances when the dentist will avoid giving you an x-ray because the rays have not been proven safe for an unborn baby.
Lovett Dental Baytown
Here at Lovett Dental Bayton in Texas, we want you to feel confident when undergoing any dental procedure. When you arrive for an appointment after contacting us at 281-838-8400, feel free to ask any questions you have about any dental procedure we propose. Our knowledgeable, friendly staff will answer willingly. We understand that have a fear of dental procedures is not knowing what will happen. Call us today to set up an appointment for a cleaning and exam.