Dental X-rays play a pivotal role in comprehensive dental care, offering insights beneath the surface. Here are answers to some common questions about this diagnostic tool.
Why are dental X-rays necessary?
Dental X-rays allow us to view the structures of the mouth that aren't visible to the naked eye. They help in detecting cavities between teeth, assessing bone levels, examining the roots and nerves of teeth, and monitoring the status of developing teeth. This advanced imaging ensures accurate diagnosis and effective treatment planning.
What types of dental X-rays are there?
There are various types of dental X-rays, each serving a unique purpose:
- Bitewing X-rays: Focus on the crowns of the back teeth.
- Periapical X-rays: Show the entire tooth, from crown to root.
- Panoramic X-rays: Provide a broad view of the entire mouth.
- Cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT): Offers a 3D view, often used for dental implant planning.
How safe are dental X-rays?
Dental X-rays are extremely safe. We use modern equipment that minimizes radiation exposure. In fact, the radiation dose from a dental X-ray is significantly lower than one's daily exposure to natural background radiation.
How often should I get dental X-rays?
The frequency of dental X-rays depends on your oral health condition, age, risk for disease, and any signs or symptoms of oral disease. Typically, new patients might have X-rays taken during their first visit, and regular patients might have them every 6-12 months or as needed.