Dental X-Rays are one of the most common procedures for nearly all new patients to a dental office. Dental X-Rays are both diagnostic and preventative and are essential to your dental treatment plan. X-Rays help your Indianapolis, IN dentist to:
• Detect cavities
• See teeth roots
• See the bone in your mouth and jaw
• Diagnose periodontal disease
• Look at developing teeth
• Check the alignment of teeth
This list is not limited to this list however. Dentists need to use X-rays to get the full picture of what is happening inside of your mouth.
What is an X-Ray?
An X-Ray, also called a radiograph, uses a type of energy called an X-Ray to see inside of your skin tissue. Dense materials like bones and organs absorb the x-rays and appear more opaque on the image. There are two types of dental x-rays--intraoral and extraoral. Intraoral x-rays are taken inside the mouth while extraoral are outside of the mouth. Extraoral are the most common, especially for new patients who are getting a routine set of x-rays done to see the overall condition of the mouth.
How Often You Need an X-Ray
Every new patient will receive an x-ray during their new patient exam. Children and teenagers tend to need x-rays more often, sometimes once or twice a year as their teeth are developing, especially if they are having treatment for alignment issues. Children and adults with high frequency of cavities and/oral gingivitis will also need x-rays more frequently.
Patients with Periodontal disease or who have extensive fillings, crowns or other metal and restorative procedures done need x-rays once a year to help the dentist detect and monitor decay underneath the unnatural portions of your mouth.
Smokers and tobacco users should also have x-rays more often because they have a much higher risk for oral cancer and bone loss.
Dental X-Ray Safety
Over the last few years dental x-rays have become much safer than before with lower radiation doses and better, faster film which means less exposure time to radiation. Digital X-rays have also decreased the amount of radiation a patient is exposed to by up to 80%. Your dentist or radiographer should still always cover you with a lead shield for all ages and thyroid collar if you are under 30. Women who are pregnant should only be x-rayed if medically necessary.
Always make sure to ask your dentist any questions or concerns you have about your x-ray procedures and how they relate to your treatment plan. Tenth Street Dental can be reached at (317) 358-8885. We look forward to hearing from you!