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dental xrays

What Problems Can Dental X-Rays Detect?

In adults, dental X-rays can be used to show areas of decay that may not be visible with an oral exam, especially small areas of decay between teeth. Bone loss that accompanies gum disease can also be detected, as well as, abscess and other developmental abnormalities.

In children, dental X-rays are used to watch for decay, determine if there is enough space for incoming teeth, including the development of wisdom teeth.

 

How often should I have my teeth X-rayed.

The frequency of getting X-rays of your teeth often depends on your medical and dental history and current condition. Some people may need X-rays as often as every six months; others with no recent dental or gum disease and who visit their dentist regularly may get X-rays only every couple of years, or even less often. Some people fear that X-rays aren’t safe because radiation exposure can cause cell mutations that may lead to cancer. But the amount of radiation you’re exposed to during an X-ray is so small that the risk of any damage to cells in your body is extremely low.

 

What is the risk of having my teeth X-rayed?

Radiation can be found in the sun, minerals in the soil, appliances in your home, and yes, even dental X-rays. Damage to the body’s tissues and cells can be caused by radiation and may ultimately lead to the development of cancer. Providentially, the dose of radiation you are exposed to during the taking of X-rays is extremely small.

 

Why should I take the risk?

Dental X-rays help dentists discover diseases of the teeth and surrounding tissue that otherwise might be seen with a simple oral exam. In addition, X-rays help the dentist find and treat dental problems early in their development. This can potentially save you money, unnecessary discomfort, and maybe even your life.

 

What Problems Can Dental X-Rays Detect?

In adults, dental X-rays can be used to show areas of decay that may not be visible with an oral exam, especially small areas of decay between teeth. Bone loss that accompanies gum disease can also be detected, as well as, abscess and other developmental abnormalities.

In children, dental X-rays are used to watch for decay, determine if there is enough space for incoming teeth, including the development of wisdom teeth.

 

Why should I take the risk?

 

Dental X-rays help dentists discover diseases of the teeth and surrounding tissue that otherwise might be seen with a simple oral exam. In addition, X-rays help the dentist find and treat dental problems early in their development. This can potentially save you money, unnecessary discomfort, and maybe even your life.

Advances in dentistry over the years have led to the low radiation levels produced by dental X-rays. New innovations in digital X-ray machines limit the radiation beam to the small area being X-rayed. Additionally, higher speed X-ray films that require less exposure time are now used, as well as, film holders that keep the film in place in the mouth which can prevent the film from slipping and the need for repeat X-rays and additional radiation exposure. Although the existence of stray radiation is almost non-existent with the modern dental X-ray machines, lead-lined body aprons protect the body. Federal law requires that X-ray machines be checked for accuracy and safety every two years, with some states requiring more frequent checks.

 

Ultimately, regularly scheduled check-ups and X-rays with your dentist are inevitable to healthy teeth and gums.