Dental X-rays are extremely useful for dental professionals to see what is going on below the surface of your gums and diagnose oral issues. You may wonder how useful and safe these X-rays are they when you are exposed to them regularly. Here are all the answers to the questions you may have.
How often do I need to get a dental X-ray?
X-rays are used as a diagnostic tool, meaning they are tool for your dentist when it is necessary to give you an accurate diagnosis. Each set of X-rays ordered by a dentist is done so on a case by case basis to ensure that you are receiving the dental care that’s best for you. If you are in good oral health and your dentist does not believe you have dental issues that need close monitoring, you will likely only receive a set of dental X-rays once a year. However, if you have dental issues such as cavities, tooth root problems, gum disease, gingivitis, or concerns about your jaw, you will receive additional x-rays based on your specific needs to ensure your dentist keeps your mouth healthy.
What are dental X-rays?
Dental X-rays are 2D images that highlight the bones and tooth anatomy in your mouth below the surface of your gums. Digital x-rays are replacing film, digital dental x-rays emit approximately 80% less radiation than film X-rays, is a quicker process, and is easy to archive.
Dental X-rays can either be intraoral X-rays, which involve taking the X-ray image from inside the mouth, or extraoral X-rays, which are taken outside of the mouth. Intraoral X-rays show fine details in the teeth and their supporting bones that allow your dentist to identify cavities, tooth development, root health, and the tooth’s anchoring to the jaw bone. Extraoral X-rays focus more on the larger structural bones of your head, specifically your upper and lower jaw. These images help dentists identify issues such as impacted teeth, monitor jaw joint health and development, and see fractures or breaks clearly.
What can happen if I don’t receive regular dental X-rays?
Without dental X-rays, problems that are not immediately visible could go undiagnosed and could get progressively worse, leading to worse problems that are harder to treat and, in some cases, can be extremely threatening to your overall health. Dental X-rays are essential in helping dentists identify hidden tooth decay, plaque and tartar buildup, and potential root rot, among other things. Finding these issues as early as possible is essential in implementing an effective treatment plan that can get rid of them.
Talk to your dentist
It is always your choice to receive dental X-rays or not, so be sure to talk to your dentist about any questions or concerns you may have. If you do not currently have a dentist, or you are having a dental emergency please contact our offices in Northern Virginia today.