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The Importance of X-Rays

Why is it recommended to have X-rays taken every 6 months at the dentist? Learn about the importance of X-rays and how they help you.

They Give Your  Dentist “X-ray” Vision

ADA.org explains, “Dentists use X-rays to help diagnose damage and disease that is not visible during a clinical dental examination.” Unless your dentist uses X-rays, they cannot always detect underlying oral issues. A cavity in between your teeth is a great example of this. With the naked eye we can only see cavities on the occlusal or biting surface of teeth. With an X-ray however, decay shows up as a dark area where it would otherwise go undetected and potentially get worse. As you can see, 6 month dental check-ups, that include radiographs, can prevent many issues.

Do X-rays Present Any Danger?

Although many people are nervous about radiation from x-rays, there is no need to fear. Why First of all, modern x-rays are digital and emit very minute amounts of radiation. Additionally, the lead-lined shield vests that patients wear protect all of your vital organs. Thankfully, both adults and children can safely have X-rays taken. 

Types of X-rays

There are many types of X-rays. Below you will find three of the most common varieties:

Bitewing: As the name depicts, this X-ray shows the bite of your teeth. It helps the doctor to check for such things as inter-proximal cavities, to examine bone level and the health of existing restorative work. You will generally have four of these taken during a typical 6 month check-up. The X-ray is taken while you bite on a special piece of paper that holds the sensor in place by your teeth. 

Panoramic: As you stand, a special machine will rotate around your head to provide a 360 degree image. A doctor will use this to determine such things as jaw health, Orthodontic treatment, and oral surgery treatment. 

Periapical: This will capture your tooth from crown to root. During a typical 6 month visit, two of these images will be taken along with your bitewings.

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If you desire a healthy smile, don’t miss your 6 month dental check-ups! They are vital. Please call us to schedule yours!