Dental X-rays help to spot any dental health issues in its early stages. Before they turn severe, treating dental health issues can save you a lot of money, frustration, and pain. Most importantly, it can help better your overall health and preserve your quality of life. Here is more detail about dental X-rays, why they are safe, and why you need them.
What are Dental X-rays? Why Do Patients Need Them?
X-rays give dental providers quite a bit of insight into what’s going on with patients’ dental health. They show the conditions of patients’ teeth, roots, jaw placements, and facial bone structure. X-rays can travel through and absorb dense objects such as teeth and bones. These objects show up in dental X-rays as light-colored objects, whereas less dense objects such as gums and cheeks appear as darker areas on X-ray film. More importantly, dental X-rays find dental health issues that cannot be seen with an oral health exam, such as decay between teeth, infections in the bone, and undiagnosed gum disease. Finding these issues could help you avoid discomfort and ensure that underlying dental health conditions don’t result in other health issues like heart disease.
Are Dental X-rays safe?
For years there has been a stigma about dental x-rays and radiation exposure. Years ago, dental x-rays were taken using film and processed in dark rooms to process and view them. These x-rays, unfortunately, did expose some patients to higher levels of radiation compared to today’s technology. However, exposure was still limited due to the use of lead aprons and vests, which protected vital organs such as your thyroid gland.
Our office, Smile Designs of Olney, only use digital x-rays! Benefits of these digital x-rays include:
- Less Radiation– Digital X-Rays are known to use 90% less radiation than traditional X-Rays
- As a reference, a patient receiving a full mouth set of x-rays will have the same radiation exposure as a 30-minute plane ride!
- Easier Dental Appointments– No amount of preparation time is needed.
- Much higher Quality Images– The images can be blown up to any size for your dentist to look for issues, if any, accurately.
- Transferring Dental Records immediately– Since in the digitized form, therefore, they can be instantly sent to any other specialty office for further reference, within seconds.
- Environmentally Friendly– Digital radiography does not have to use any chemicals for developing the film.
- The complete picture is available– This feature typically ensures that you obtain the best diagnosis possible.
- Immediate Viewing– Digital radiography allows real-time viewing of your oral cavity. With much lesser radiation exposure, this is a unique advantage.
What Dental Health Issues Do X-rays Detect?
X-rays will show various dental health issues, such as:
- Decay in small areas between the teeth and under pre-existing fillings
- Bone loss in the jaw
- Changes in the root canal or bone due to infection
- Condition and location of teeth to prepare for tooth implants, dentures, or other complex dental procedures
- Abscesses, cysts, and some types of tumors
X-rays in children dentistry can help determine:
- If decay is developing in your child’s mouth
- If there is adequate space in your child’s mouth to fit all of their incoming teeth
- If wisdom teeth are forming
- If teeth are impacted
How Often Do I Need Dental X-rays?
That’s an excellent question! It all depends on medical and dental history, along with your current condition. Some patients may need X-rays as often as every six months if they are at a very high decay rate. Others who don’t have gum disease or other dental diseases and have regular visits with their dentists may need them only one time per year. Dentists use the first X-rays and compare it to more recent X-rays to look for changes and problems.
Are you due for a dental appointment? Reach out to us today!
Get in Touch With Smile Designs of Olney Today!
For your smile makeover or any other dental needs, come to Smile Designs of Olney! Book an appointment with us. Whether you want your teeth whitened, straightened, or restored altogether, we pride ourselves on quality patient care and giving you the smile makeover that you deserve. Our small, professional staff will make you feel right at home. We service the Montgomery County regions including Olney, Laytonsville, Brookville, Silver Spring, Rockville, Columbia, Bethesda, Chevy Chase, and Germantown, MD. Contact us at (301) 260-0700, visit us online, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube.