Dental X-rays are used for the evaluation of your dental health. They are your teeth’s images and are used to get an ideal picture of the innermost part of your gums and teeth using radiation of low levels. This will go a long way in helping your dentist to easily diagnose oral problems such as tooth decay, cavities, impacted teeth, just to mention a few. They may create an impression that they are complex but are vital tools for achieving a perfect smile at the nearest dentist office.
Why dental X-rays are performed
Dental x-rays are usually carried out every year and their frequency is largely dependent on your condition. Your dentist may decide that track the advancement of a dental treatment or problem. Some of the factors that affect the frequency include age, present status of oral health, symptoms of dental disease, history of tooth decay or gum disease and so on.
If you are going to the nearest dentist office for the first time, you will be subjected to dental X-rays. This will enable your doctor to get an ideal picture of your condition. This can be very essential if you have not carried out dental X-rays in your previous clinic visits.
The frequency of dental X-rays among children can be more than with adults. This is due to the fact that the development of their permanent teeth requires proper monitoring. This will go a long way in determining the status of baby teeth so that they can be eliminated if necessary, especially in a situation whereby adult teeth are erupting behind milk teeth so that complications can be avoided.
Risks of dental X-rays
Even though radiation is associated with dental X-rays, the level of exposure is low. And that is why they are safe for both adults and children. In fact, your exposure to radiation is reduced if digital X-rays are used in lieu of creating them on film. In addition, a lead bib will be placed over your abdomen, chest and pelvic regions. So that any undesirable exposure of the vital organs of your body will be prevented.
You may also be given a thyroid cover. Especially if your condition has to do with thyroid conditions. Women with capacity of bear children and kids may also put thyroid cover in addition to the lead bib. However, pregnant women are not at liberty to go through any X-ray, no matter the type. This is because the embryo may not be able to withstand the radiation from X-rays. And this can be very dangerous.
Preparing for dental X-rays
There is no special requirement for preparing for dental X-rays. You may need to brush your teeth properly before honoring your appointment at the nearest dentist office. This will go a long way in creating a more healthful environment for the dental professionals that will work with your mouth. In most cases, X-rays are carried out before cleanings.
At the nearest dentist office, you will be seated on the chair. While a lead vest will be placed across your chest as well as lap. Thereafter, the x-ray machine will be placed alongside your head. So that images of your mouth will be recorded. In some dental practices, there is provision for a separate room for x-rays. While others carried out the procedure in the same room they use for cleaning as well as other procedures.
Types of X-rays
There are various kinds of dental x-rays. They are categorized according to how they capture the views of the mouth. The most popular ones are intra-oral x-rays and they are discussed below.
This is usually used for checking cavities in between the teeth. It involves the biting down of a special piece of paper in order to give your dentist the opportunity to examine the matchup of your crowns with your teeth.
This is carried out in a situation whereby you have a closed jaw. So that the line-up of your bottom and upper teeth will be examined. In addition, it can be used for the detection of anatomical abnormalities with your palate. It is very important for you to note that this method captures your entire teeth with just one shot.
Panoramic x-ray involves the rotation of the machine around your head. It can be used to examine your wisdom teeth, inspect jaw problems or design for implanted dental instrument.
This technique places more focus on two whole teeth from from crown to root.
On the order hand, extraoral x-rays are used for areas outside your teeth and gum, like the jaw. In most cases, they are used when your dental practitioner at the nearest dentist office, suspects some problems in these areas.
You will be guided through every step of the x-ray procedure by a dental hygienist. While the taking of images is going on, the dental practitioner may step out of the room. And you will be asked to hold on just as the pictures are documented. If film holders are used, they will be moved and balanced in your mouth. So that proper images will be obtained.
After dental X-rays
As soon as the images are available, especially when digital x-rays are used for instant results, they will be reviewed by your dentist and inspected for abnormalities. If your teeth is being cleaned by the dental hygienist, the result of the x-ray will be adequately examined after the cleaning. If any problem is discovered, such as tooth decay or cavities, treatment options will be discussed with you and if none, you will be encouraged to maintain your dental health status.
Just like your regular brushing and flossing, dental X-rays should be carried out regularly at the nearest dentist office. This will go a long way in enhancing your dental health at all times. Regular dental check-up is very vital and during these checkups, dental x-rays may be recommended for you. They may be recommended once or twice a year depending on your age as well as health status.