Why Your Dentist Takes Dental X-Rays
Dental x-rays are an important diagnostic tool, and enable your dentist at Midtown Dentistry
to see areas of your teeth and the surrounding bone that aren’t visible to the naked eye. They show any dental decay, especially in contact areas in between the teeth where it’s impossible to see, and any signs of destruction such as changes to bone density that might have been caused through infection such as gum disease or dental abscesses.
There are lots of different types of dental x-rays that can be used to detect any potential problems, but the ones most commonly used include:
Bitewing x-rays show the upper and lower teeth in one area of the mouth in greater detail. These are used to detect any signs of decay in between the teeth, and to ensure any fillings are still viable and are not leaking or crumbling. They’re also useful for determining if a crown or other type of restoration is fitting properly.
Periapical x-rays show teeth from the crown to the root in one particular area of the mouth and are used to detect any abnormalities to the roots of the tooth as well as to the surrounding bone.
Occlusal x-rays show the development and placement of teeth in either the upper or lower jaw so are quite large.
Panoramic x-rays are a little different as they taken from outside the mouth and are extraoral. These show the entire mouth on a single x-ray and are used to diagnose tumors, the position of fully erupted and emerging teeth, and impacted teeth.
CT scans provide 3-D images of the face, and are used by Midtown Dentistry to plan dental implants, and to identify other problems such as bone fractures in the face.
Midtown Dentistry has a Cone Beam CT scanner to produce 3-D images of the jaw, and to take panoramic x-rays, ensuring diagnosis and treatment planning can be carried out quickly and with the minimum of fuss to patients.
Are Dental X-rays Safe?
This is a very common question and the answer is yes. Modern digital dental x-rays only emit very small amounts of radiation. Without their use your dentist would not be able to diagnose problems so effectively, and would be unable to plan treatments so accurately. Your dentist will only need to take dental x-rays at infrequent intervals, usually every two years or so for an adult in reasonable dental health.
People with dental health issues and children may need dental x-rays more frequently, but there is still no need to worry they are in any way detrimental to general health, and they will only be taken when absolutely necessary. You’ll probably need a full set of new dental x-rays when you first visit a new dentist so they can accurately assess your oral health, but if you have a recent set from your old dentist then it is worth asking them to send this information to your new dentist as they might be sufficient.