Dental radiographs (x-rays) are essential, preventative, diagnostic tools that provide valuable information not visible during a regular dental exam. Dentists and dental hygienists use this information to safely and accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities and complete an accurate treatment plan. Without x-rays, problem areas may go undetected.
Dental x-rays may reveal:
Abscesses or cysts.
Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors.
Decay between the teeth.
Poor tooth and root positions.
Problems inside a tooth or below the gum line.
Detecting and treating dental problems at an early stage can save you time, money, unnecessary discomfort, and most importantly, your child's teeth!
Are dental x-rays safe?
We are all exposed to natural radiation in our environment. The amount of radiation exposure from a full mouth series of x-rays is equal to the amount a person receives in a single day from natural sources.
Dental x-rays produce a low level of radiation and are considered safe. Dentists take necessary precautions to limit the patient’s exposure to radiation when taking dental x-rays. These precautions include using lead apron shields to protect the body and using modern, fast film that cuts down the exposure time of each x-ray.
We have taken the precaution one step further by committing our office to the use of digital x-rays 100% of the time. Digital x-ray is the lastest technology used to take dental x-rays. This technique uses an electronic sensor (insttead of x-ray film) that captures and stores the digital image on a computer. this image can be instantly viewed and enlarged, helping the dentis and dental hygienist detect problems easier. Compared to the already low exposure of traditional dental x-rays, the use of digital x-rays lowers the radiation exposure by up to 90% by using lower doses and higher speeds of exposure.
How often should dental x-rays be taken?
The need for dental x-rays depends on each patient’s individual dental health needs. Your dentist and dental hygienist will recommend necessary x-rays based on the review of your medical and dental history, dental exam, signs and symptoms, age consideration, and risk for disease.
Dental x-rays are recommended for new patients, based on an age-appropriate criteria. The number of x-rays taken is always kept to the absolute minimum, and is dependant on the child's stage of dental development.