Dental X-rays are a significant part of dentistry. You have probably gotten one during a past visit to the dentist. These diagnostic tests are used to evaluate what is going on underneath the surface of a person's teeth. They are one of the most accurate ways to diagnose a variety of oral issues, like gum disease and tooth decay.
Commonly asked questions about dental X-rays
Most patients have a clear idea why other routine dental procedures, like cleanings and checkups, are performed, but figuring out when they need X-rays can be more complicated. Here are commonly asked questions about dental X-rays:
1. Why is the procedure necessary?
X-rays are one of the numerous tools that dentists have in their arsenal. A visual examination can be used to diagnose many oral problems, but the dentist sometimes needs to know what is occurring under the gums and inside a tooth to provide better care for their patients.
When a dentist is unable to find an outer indication of a developing dental condition, like tiny cavities, X-rays can be used to create a clearer picture so proper treatment can be administered.
2. How often should a patient get an X-ray?
The actual number varies depending on various factors, like the patient's oral health and the dental clinic's policies. A person with good oral health might only need an X-ray once a year, while someone who is already dealing with a severe dental problem might need an X-ray twice a year to monitor their condition.
The dentist will make an assessment on when each patient is due for an X-ray, weighing the risks and benefits. If a dentist recommends an X-ray, the patient most likely needs one.
3. Why are there different types of dental X-rays?
Each type of X-ray comes with unique benefits. Some patients need multiple types of X-rays to create a clearer picture of what is going on in their mouth. Bite-wing X-rays are the most commonly used in dentistry. It requires the patient to bite down on a plastic wing that contains some film. It is a great way to evaluate what is going on inside bicuspids and molars. Such X-rays are effective at detecting cavities developing in these areas.
4. How dangerous is the radiation?
Many people who have to get X-rays worry about the effects the radiation might have on their overall health. Dentists protect their patients by covering up portions of their body with a lead apron. They also keep the number of times each patient has to get an X-ray to a minimum.
Oral X-rays make it easier to treat dental issues early
Thanks to tools like X-rays, dentists can diagnose dental problems in their early stages, way before there are any signs and symptoms. Every precaution possible is taken to minimize each patient's exposure to radiation.
Need an X-ray? Stop by our Decatur office today. We can diagnose any oral problems you have and provide the necessary treatments.
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