Why do I need X-Rays?
Radiographic, or X-ray, examinations provide your dentist with an important tool that shows the condition of your teeth, its roots, jaw placement and the overall composition of your facial bones. X-rays can help your dentist determine the presence or degree of periodontal (gum) disease, abscesses and many abnormal growths, such as cysts and tumors. X-rays also can show the exact location of impacted and unerupted teeth. They can pinpoint the location of cavities and other signs of disease that may not be possible to detect through a visual examination.
Your radiographic schedule is based on your dentist`s assessment of your individual needs, including whether you`re a new patient or a follow-up patient, adult or child. In most cases, new patients require a full set of mouth X-rays to evaluate oral health status, including any underlying signs of gum disease, and for future comparison. Follow-up patients may require X-rays to monitor their gum condition or their chance of tooth decay.
Types of X-rays
Our office is using digital X-rays. To take a digital X-ray, your dentist will place a sensor on the tooth that looks like a piece of film. Once the picture is taken, your dentist can adjust the contrast and brightness of the image to find even the smallest area of decay. Other benefits of digital X-rays are decreased exposure to radiation and reduced time to develop photos, which helps eliminate treatment disruptions.
A panoramic radiograph allows your dentist to see the entire structure of your mouth in a single image. Within one large film, panoramic X-rays reveal all of your upper and lower teeth and parts of your jaw. What is apparent through one type of X-ray often is not visible on another. The panoramic X-ray will give your dentist a general and comprehensive view of your entire mouth on a single film, which other X-rays cannot show. On the other hand, you might need close-up X- rays to show a highly detailed image of a smaller area, making it easier for your dentist to see decay between your teeth. X-rays are not prescribed indiscriminately. Your dentist has a need for the different information that each X-ray can provide to formulate a diagnosis.
3D PANORAMIC X-RAYS / CT SCANS
This type of X-rays will give your dentist detailed information about the whole structure of the jaws in a three dimensional view . It is very helpful in planning implant therapy and also detecting the exact location of impacted teeth or tumors.
Concerned About Radiation Exposure
Dental X-rays require exposure to very low levels of radiation, which makes the risk of potentially harmful effects very small. All health care providers are sensitive to patients` concerns about exposure to radiation. Your dentist has been trained to prescribe X-rays when they are appropriate and to tailor radiographic schedules to each patient`s individual needs. By using state-of-the-art technology and by staying knowledgeable about recent advances, your dentist knows which techniques, procedures and X-ray films can minimize your exposure to radiation.