How Important Are Dental X-Rays?

cosmetic dentistry hoboken njTo 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.

X-Ray Procedure

Here’s what you should expect during a routine dental X-ray at the dentist’s office:

  1. 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.
  1. The technician will then take an X-pray picture of the affected area.
  1. 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 for addition information.

What Are Inlays and Onlays?

inlay-onlayDental inlays and onlays are both forms of restorations used to repair teeth, mostly the rear ones, suffering from mild tooth decay, cracks and fractures. With the way that they’re utilized, inlays and onlays could very well be considered as a middle ground between fillings and crowns. This is because, inlays and onlays are often recommended for teeth that are too damaged or decayed for fillings, but still have enough healthy tooth structure remaining to need a crown.

There are many benefits to using inlays and onlays over fillings, such as:

  • Inlays and onlaysare made from tougher materials and are known to last for as long as 30 years.
  • Stronger teeth. Inlays and onlays can strengthen teeth by as much as 75 percent. In contracts, fillings, such as the traditional metal ones, can weaken teeth by as much as 50 percent.
  • Longevity and prevention. Inlays and onlays can help improve the lifespan of teeth, all the while preventing the need to have further dental treatment done in the future.

More often than not, inlays and onlays are used to replace old fillings. Inlays are very similar to fillings and fit neatly inside the top edges of teeth. Onlays, however, are a bit more different, more extensive, and usually extend over the top edges of teeth.

During treatment, patients may elect for local anesthesia while the dentist removes the old fillings and takes an impression of the affected tooth or teeth. The impression or mold is then sent to a dental laboratory where the new inlay or onlay is made. The material can range from porcelain, to gold, or even composite resin.

Once finished, the patient will be asked to come in for another visit so that they inlay or onlay can be cemented into place.

Inlays and onlays have been built not only to last, but also to look good by making sure that the treated tooth blends in well with the rest of the teeth.

How Are Inlays and Onlays Applied?

The application of inlays and onlays typically takes two appointments – the first for an initial visit where the impression or mold of the affected tooth is taken and the second, where the inlay or onlay can finally be bonded to the damaged tooth.

Inlays and onlays are pretty much applied the same way. The dentist begins the procedure by numbing the affected area with local anesthesia, and removing any decay or damage. The dentist prepares the said area and then takes a mold, which is then sent off to a dental laboratory. A temporary restoration is then placed on the affected area of the tooth to help protect it until the next appointment.

Once the inlay or onlay is ready, the patient is called in for the second appointment, where the temporary restoration is removed and the inlay or onlay is finally fitted.

Finally, the inlay or onlay is polished to prevent it from attracting bacteria and plaque, as well as to make sure that it looks as good as possible.

Are There Any Potential Risks?

Although rare, there are certain risks associated with inlays and onlays, such as the possibility of a severe allergic reaction to the anesthetic used, or the ingredients that make up the inlay or onlay.

If you feel that you would benefits from either inlays or onlay, contact Dental Associates of Hoboken at 201-795-2111 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit for addition information.