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Hello Friends!

“Why do I need x-rays? I brush my teeth”.

Sometimes we hear this question in our office, so I’d like to share some thoughts on the subject.

Dental x-rays are necessary for the following:

To check for decay between the teeth 

Often, decay isn’t visible to the naked eye, and exists in areas that dentists cannot see.

To check for bone loss associated with gum disease 

Gum disease can cause bone loss and an x-ray can determine how advanced it is.

To check for decay under current dental restorations

Sometimes, decay can occur under fillings and crowns and can only be seen with an x-ray.

To look for an infection at the tip of the root

Infections can occur at the very bottom of the tooth where the bone is (sometimes without causing any obvious symptoms) and an x-ray will show any abnormalities.

To examine an area prior to dental procedures

Dentists need a full view of the tooth and bone.

To check for abnormalities in the bone/sinus area

A dental x-ray can detect unusual masses or other areas of concern undetectable to the naked eye.

The most common concern expressed by a patient is the amount of radiation they are exposed to during a dental x-ray.  Any questions or concerns should be discussed with your dentist or hygienist.  Another good source of information is the American Dental Association.  You can visit their website at http://www.ada.org for breakdowns and dental x-ray recommendations.

As always, if we can answer any questions or help in any way, please visit our website at http://www.brunnerfamilydental.com.

Your friends at Brunner Family Dental

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Hello Friends!

We often receive questions regarding dental x-rays; “Are they necessary?”, “Are they safe?”, and “Why do I need so many?” are typically the most common.  We found this great article from Delta Dental that had some great information from the ADA regarding dental x-rays.

All about x-rays

X-rays explained

Dental x-rays are a valuable part of dental treatment because they can detect damage to teeth and gums not visible during a routine checkup.

X-rays can show the condition of your teeth, their roots, your jaw placement and the overall composition of your facial bones. X-rays can help your dentist determine the presence or degree of gum disease, cavities, abscesses and many abnormal growths, such as cysts and tumors. X-rays also can show the exact location of impacted teeth and teeth that have not yet fully developed.

X-ray Q&A

Do all patients have x-rays taken every six months?

X-ray schedules are customized to fit your individual needs. If you are a new patient, your dentist will typically take x-rays to evaluate your oral health and track it during future visits, making sure that your teeth and gums stay healthy. If you have changed dentists and recently had x-rays taken, you can ask to have them sent to the new dentist so he or she is up-to-date on your oral health.

What kind of x-rays does my dentist usually take?

The most common type of x-rays dentists take are known as bitewing x-rays. These require patients to hold or bite down on a piece of plastic with x-ray film in the center. Bitewing x-rays typically determine the presence of decay in between teeth – one of the most common areas where decay-causing bacteria reside.

Periapical x-rays are another common type of dental x-ray, which gives the dentist an image of the entire tooth, including the roots. With periapical x-rays, dentists evaluate a particular tooth’s root structure and bone level, and also can detect cysts and abscesses.

My dentist has ordered a “panoramic radiograph.” What is that?

A panoramic x-ray, also called radiograph, allows your dentist to see your whole mouth, including your upper and lower teeth and parts of your jaw, in a single image. This gives him or her a clear image of any issues that may be harder to see up close. It can help predict children’s tooth development and may show complications with a teenager’s wisdom teeth before they erupt.

Why might I need more than one type of x-ray?

Different types of x-rays give your dentist an overview of different parts of your mouth. Panoramic x-rays give your dentist a general comprehensive view of your entire mouth on a single film, while bitewing or periapical x-rays show a detailed image of a smaller area, revealing decay or cavities between teeth. If your dentist needs both these vantage points to assess a problem, he or she will likely conduct multiple x-rays.

Should I be concerned about exposure to radiation?

All health care providers are sensitive to patients’ concerns about radiation. Your dentist has been trained to prescribe x-rays only when they are appropriate, and to tailor their frequency to your individual needs. By using state-of-the-art technology and staying knowledgeable about recent advances, your dentist knows which techniques, procedures and x-ray films can minimize your exposure to radiation.1

 

If you have any other questions or need more info, please visit our website at http://www.brunnerfamilydental.com.  We’ll be happy to discuss your individual concerns.

Your friends at

Brunner Family Dental

The oral health information on this website is intended for educational purposes only. You should always consult a licensed dentist or other qualified health care professional for any questions concerning your oral health.