Are dental X-rays necessary?

 

Are dental X-rays necessary?

Posted by James Cadigan in Dental Health 29 Aug 2013

It’s a great thing that we live in a very health-conscious society. By staying aware of our healthcare choices and personal habits, we can live healthier lifestyles and increase our life expectancy. One of the most common questions that our health-savvy patients ask us is if it is necessary for them to have routine dental x-rays due to the radiation exposure during the procedure.

We want to let our patients know that all dental x-rays use such an extremely low dose of radiation, that it’s even less than you would absorb if you spent a day out in the sun. With advancements in new radiology technology, some x-rays used in modern dental offices use up to 90% less radiation than the ones from 10 years ago. Dental x-rays are very, very safe.

dental x-rays use such an extremely low dose of radiation, that it’s even less than you would absorb if you spent a day out in the sun

Even in the most thorough of exams, it is impossible to identify some signs of oral diseases without the use of x-rays. For instance, some early cavities, decay between the teeth, periodontal disease, abscesses, tumors, impacted teeth and cysts are all conditions that are not able to be diagnosed without viewing them on an x-ray film. By identifying these conditions early on, we can keep your care as minimally invasive as possible. Serious oral diseases can easily spread to adjacent teeth and other areas in your mouth, but by finding them at their beginning stages, your treatment is easier to manage and preserves healthy tooth enamel.

Routine bitewing x-rays are typically taken once per year, to check for cavities between the teeth as well as bone loss associated with periodontal disease. Films of individual teeth are taken to view the entire area around the root of the tooth, and are usually taken during root canal treatments, dental emergencies, or when you are experiencing problems with a specific tooth.

A full mouth series or panoramic x-ray is usually taken once every 3 years. Panoramic films are vital in diagnosing orthodontic concerns as well as the health of developing wisdom teeth.

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