Dental Exams: What You Should Know
It is very important, as we all know, to take good care of your teeth and gums. Dental x-rays, sometimes referred to as radiographs, are a key component in virtually all dental care treatment plans. Dental x-rays are pictures taken of the teeth, and of the soft tissues and bones that are around the teeth. These pictures are taken to find out whether or not there are any problems around the mouth and jaw structure. These examinations allow us to determine if there has been any bone loss. Such determinations cannot be discovered by a visual exam. These x-rays help diagnose any complications as well as prevent issues through diagnosis of potential health issues in a patient’s mouth, before the problem expatiates. Before going for a dental x-ray, one would likely have questions and concerns. As with any medical procedure, it is always better to become as familiar as possible with the procedure, and ultimately, more comfortable with the process.
Safety Is Key
One common concern surrounding dental x-rays is are they safe? Yes, these exams are safe. There are, however, very low level amounts of radiation exposure. The levels are so low in fact, that it makes any risk of potentially harmful effects very small. The x-ray tools, as well as techniques, are also designed in a manner that limits the body’s exposure to radiation. Lead aprons and thyroid collars are often readily available and should be used whenever possible. These accommodations are available at most all dental practices.
Cancer and Dental Imaging Radiation
Contrary to popular beliefs, low dose radiation from dental imaging does not make cancer worse. Actually high doses of radiation are used to treat cancer patients.
The Bigger Picture
Panoramic radiographs, also known as “pans”, gives the dentists a panoramic view of a patients mouth. The upper and lower jaw along with a portion of the upper neck can be seen. This allows the dentist to see and analyze what is occurring in that area of a patients anatomy. These types of exams are of crucial importance. Ideally, one should have a panoramic x-ray once every three to five years.
When a dentist wants to get a “close-up” of a tooth, they use periodical x-rays. This allows the dentist to focus on one or two specific teeth and gather detailed insight, such as does the patient have cavities or dental abscesses. These x-rays allow dental root canals to be seen much more clearly. This helps tremendously when performing a root canal procedure.
Who Can I Trust
All radiographs at Bellaire Dental group are fully digital, a system that uses even less radiation during exposure as compared to the conventional radiographs. Our team at Bellaire Dental Group is committed to providing excellence in dentistry and in a caring environment.