Your dentist may take x-rays every six months to track your oral health. You may need new x-rays or bring your x-rays with you if you change dentists. The timing of x-rays depends upon your specific condition.
What are the Different Type of X-Rays?
Bitewing x-rays are the most common type. Patients hold or bite down on a piece of plastic containing x-ray film in the center. Your doctor may use bitewing x-rays to check for decay between your teeth. This is one of the most common places for decay to occur.
Another common type of x-ray are periapical x-rays. These give your doctor an image of the entire tooth and root. Periapical x-rays help dentists evaluate the bone level and structure of a tooth. It can also detect abscesses and cysts.
Occlusal x-rays give your doctor a view of the floor of your mouth. This shows the bite of the lower or upper jaw. This type of x-ray can be used to show the development of children’s primary and permanent teeth.
A radiograph, or panoramic x-ray, gives your dentist a view of our whole mouth. A single image may include parts of your jaw and upper and lower teeth. This type of x-ray gives your dentist a very clear image and is also used to predict children’s tooth development and spot any wisdom teeth complications before they erupt.
Your doctor may use more than one type of x-ray to diagnose and determine treatment. Each type gives your dentist a unique view of your teeth, gums, and mouth. Periapical and bitewing x-rays give a more detailed image while panoramic x-rays let your doctor see your entire mouth.
Are Dental X-Rays Safe?
Dental x-rays use a low dose of radiation and are considered very safe. Although the x-ray machine is large, the actual x-ray is produced from a small cone limiting exposure. Today’s x-ray film is much more sensitive and needs less radiation to produce an image. Digital x-rays need no radiation at all and give the doctor a real-time image. Your doctor will use x-rays only when needed. This limits the amount of radiation you are exposed to.
Today’s dental x-rays are safe and effective tools used by dentists to examine your mouth, teeth, and gums. If you have any questions about dental x-rays, please call or contact us today.