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Doctor dentist showing patient's teeth on dental X-ray

Dental X-Rays: Important Information

Regular dental check ups are essential for maintaining the health of your teeth. During these checkups, there are tools your dentist can use to make sure your teeth are healthy and there are no issues. One of these tools is dental x-rays. In this blog, we are going to explore the reasons x-rays are needed, and what dental issues they detect. Plus, we will explore the safety of dental x-rays.

Why Do Dentists Use Dental X-Rays:

Dental x-rays are a useful tool for your dentist for multiple reasons. x-rays can help find dental issues early on before the problem worsens.

Here are some issues x-rays can detect:

  • Decay underneath existing fillings or crowns.
  • Areas of decay between the teeth.
  • Bone loss.
  • Abscess, which is an infection at the root of a tooth or between the tooth and gum.
  • Some types of tumors and cysts.

The Different Types of Dental X-Rays:

There are a few types of x-rays that your dentist might use. One type is intra-oral x-rays, which is the most common. These x-rays can show the entire tooth or just the top half of the tooth.

The second type is extra-oral x-rays. This type of x-ray is used to detect any dental issues in the skull and jaw. The most common form of this type of x-ray is a panoramic x-ray showing all the teeth in one x-ray. Another type of extra-oral x-ray is a CT which can show a three dimensional view of a patient’s mouth.

How Often Should I Receive X-Rays:

How often a patient should receive x-rays is different for each person. If a patient is more prone to decay, they should have x-rays on a yearly basis, or even more frequently. For a patient that does not show a strong history of decay, x-rays can be taken less frequently.

Are Dental X-Rays Safe:

One of the most frequently asked questions to all dentists; “Are dental X-rays safe?” The answer to this question is “yes.” The amount of radiation given off by dental x-rays is extremely low. With the implementation of digital x-rays, the amount of radiation per x-ray has decreased by almost half of what the old analog x-rays produced. According to Today’s Registered Dental Hygienists, a cross-country flight from New York to Los Angeles exposes a person to the same amount of radiation as eight dental x-rays.

Downtown Franklin Family Dentistry recommends that you take time to visit the dentist at least every six months. You can schedule a visit on our website via our contact form or give us a call at 615-595-6111. We look forward to seeing you soon and helping you obtain optimal oral health.