Dental X-Rays Help Dentists to Better Evaluate Your Oral Health
Evaluating your oral health simply by using physical methods to view your mouth and teeth will be difficult for the dentist who also needs to use dental x-rays. The x-rays used for dental evaluations emit low radiation when capturing images of the interior of the teeth and gums. These images can help the dentist to identify problems like impacted teeth, cavities, and tooth decay.
Dental x-rays are common tools that are just as important as teeth cleanings despite them looking complex.
Why Does the Dentist Need Dental X-Rays?
Dental x-rays are generally performed every year but your dentist may request more images if he or she is tracking the progress of a dental problem or treatment. Factors that could affect how often you need dental x-rays may include your age, current oral health, symptoms of any oral disease, or a record of gingivitis and tooth decay.
If you are visiting the dentist for the first time you will be requested to undergo the x-rays to allow your dentist to get a better picture of your dental health. This is particularly important if you don’t have any x-rays from the dentist you were visiting earlier.
Children will be required to have dental x-rays more often than adults because the dentist may need to monitor the growth of the permanent teeth. This is important because it helps the dentist to determine whether baby teeth need to be extracted to prevent problems like crowding and permanent teeth erupting behind baby teeth.
The Risks of Dental X-Rays
Dental x-rays also involve radiation but the levels of exposure are low to consider them safe for children and adults. If your dentist is using digital x-rays instead of developing them on film the risks from radiation are even lower.
A lead bib will be placed by the dentist over your chest, abdomen, and pelvic region to prevent unwanted exposure to radiation to your vital organs. If you have thyroid conditions the dentist may also use a thyroid collar. Women of childbearing age and children may also wear them with the lead bib.
Perhaps the only exception to the rule is pregnancy as this is a condition when women should be avoiding x-rays of all types. The dentist must be provided with advance information about their condition because radiation is considered unsafe for developing fetuses.
How to Prepare for Dental X-Rays
Preparing for dental x-rays is similar to the preparations you would undergo for having your picture taken. The only preparation you need to make is to brush your teeth before the appointment to create a hygienic environment for the staff that will be working inside your mouth. Dental x-rays are usually taken before cleanings.
At the office of the dentist near you, the x-ray machine may be positioned by the side of your head to record images of your mouth. Some dental practices have separate rooms for x-rays while others are performing them in the exam rooms that are used for the procedures.
Types of Dental X-Rays
Several types of dental x-rays that can record slightly different views of your mouth are currently being used by dentists. Advances in dentistry have allowed Bluebonnet dental access to modern technology which they are using to good effect to obtain detailed images of the mouth, teeth, and even the jaw to identify different problems that they believe the patient may be affected by.
A dental hygienist will be available to guide you through every step of the x-ray process. The hygienist may step out of the room for a brief period when the images are being captured while you will be instructed to hold still.
What Happens after the Dental X-Rays Are Taken
When the images are ready the dentist in Houston, TX, will view them and check for abnormalities. If digital dental x-rays are taken the images will be visible instantly. If cleaning is being conducted by a dental hygienist the dentist will discuss the results of your x-rays with you after the procedure is completed. If your dentist notices any problems such as cavities or tooth decay the treatment options for both will be discussed with you before you leave the dental office. If no problems are detected your dentist will pat you on the back and ask you to visit for another dental checkup and cleaning in six months.