In dental practice, X-rays help the dentist look into the bone structure of the mouth, the gum, the status of your teeth, and the tissue surrounding them. It is an important part of dentistry because it can be both preventive and curative depending on the timing. While an x-ray exposes you to some level of radiation, it is not enough to harm you. Occasional dental x-rays could help your dentist identify a problem before it becomes problematic.
There are two types of dental x-rays; intraoral, which is taken inside the mouth and extraoral which is done outside. Intraoral is far more effective in identifying the structure of the teeth in detail for even the well-hidden wisdom tooth.
Benefits of Dental X-rays
Since the X-rays have minimal exposure to radiation, you can have them done on children too. The frequency is determined by an individual’s health status and the determination of the dentist. Some of the benefits of dental x-rays include:
- Identifying cavities.
- Checking the bone structure and health of the teeth.
- To see the status of newly developing teeth.
- Monitor the health of the teeth so that you can stop any serious dental condition before it happens.
- To track the roots of the teeth.
The X-ray Process
The process consists primarily of two steps:
Step 1: Preparation
The process involves radiation, so a professional caregiver will cover you with a heavy apron that prevents the radiation from reaching to any other part of your body. You are advised to sit upright on your chair as this happens. The technician will also cover your neck with a thyroid shield that protects the thyroid gland from radiation. This is also required of everyone in the room, as they too need to be safe from exposure to radiation.
Once the safety measures have been taken, the technician will place a plastic object in your mouth and request that you bite down on it. This plastic thing contains x-ray film.
Step 2: Execution
The plastic apparatus will take photos of your mouth for the dentist to examine later. The technician may take as many photos as they need to ensure that everything in the mouth is captured. The process is pain-free and only takes a few minutes.
Results from Your X-ray
After the x-ray has been done, the dentist will help interpret the results as they see them. A good x-ray report will show no cavities, no tooth decay, no cysts or abscess, no teeth injuries such as jaw fractures and no damage to the formation of the bones.
On the other hand, a report that shows decay, bone disfigurement, tumors, jaw fractures, and impacted teeth send an alarm. Your dentist will advise you on the step to take. When X-rays are done on time, the damage will be noted well in advance, and it could save your teeth and the money that it could cost to do more extensive procedures such as root canals treatments.
Types of X-rays
It gives the dentist a visual of the upper and lower posterior teeth. It shows whether there is decay on the back teeth so that the dentist can take the proper action.
It gives a close visual of the entire tooth and the bone that supports it.
It is quite comprehensive and covers a view of sinuses, the jaw and its joints, nasal area, and the teeth. The dentist will usually perform this extensive x-ray when they need to do a dental implant.
It is ideal for children whose teeth are still in the development stage. It covers the floor of the mouth.
The dentist protects you from radiation during the process. The benefits of dental x-rays outweigh the risks, and so you should not be afraid to have it done.