To provide you with the best possible dental care, a visual examination of your teeth is usually not enough. To check your teeth for any signs of decays, cavities, growth tissues and other possible abnormalities, dentists have to utilize X-rays.
X-rays, or also referred to as radiographs, give dentists the ability to see what’s between and inside teeth. The technology also allows them to take a good look at the tip of the roots, as well as the bones found underneath the gums. These are places that would otherwise be invisible via normal visual examinations.
X-rays have become an integral part of routine dental examinations, as well as in the diagnosis of specific and/or isolated dental complications. Dentists have come to rely on X-rays to check teeth for cavities and tooth decay, as well as to evaluate a patient’s current oral health. Also, because X-rays allow dentists to see and treat cysts, abscesses and other masses, treatment for such problems can start as soon as they’re discovered. Furthermore, X-ray also allows dentists to detect certain complications, such as impacted and wisdom teeth, and even the presence of bone loss.
Here’s what you should expect during a routine dental X-ray at the dentist’s office:
- The dentist covers you with a heavy lead apron, which serves as your body’s protection against radiation. Then, the dental professional inserts a small plastic apparatus into your mouth. You’ll then be asked to bite down on the said apparatus.
- The technician will then take an X-pray picture of the affected area.
- The process will then be repeated until the dentist has finished taking pictures of your entire mouth.
How Often Do Dentists Need X-Rays?
Everyone’s oral health is different and dentists often recommend X-rays depending on their patient’s individual health needs. Dentists will often review their patient’s history and examine their mouth first before recommending an X-ray. Once they do recommend an X-ray, they usually do so to check any possible hidden problems in the mouth, as well as to help prevent any possible problems that may occur later on.
Of course, if it’s your first time having your teeth checked, your dentist may require a full series of X-rays, or panoramic image, to get a better view of your current oral health and make a better assessment.
Are X-Rays Safe?
X-rays and the process is pain-free, and there’s no need to use anesthesia or anything else whatsoever.
Of course, there’s still radiation. However, modern X-ray machines that are used today are designed to minimize radiation. Better yet, many dental offices today are using digital X-rays, which further reduces the patient’s exposure to radiation. The use of a leaded apron and collar to cover the thyroid and abdominal area help add further protection against radiation.
Brushing twice a day, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash are all very important oral hygiene practices that you should practice at home to improve your oral health. However, you shouldn’t be so quick to discount the importance of routine X-rays during dental checkups, as well as professional cleanings.
If you feel you are due for regular checkup, contact Dental Associates of Hoboken at 201-795-2111 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.dentalassociatesofhobken.com for addition information.