All About Dental X-rays

For many who are at their dentist, they might get a dental x-ray during checkups. This is standard protocol at your Kennewick dentist, where they might use a fancy machine, or there might be traditional x-rays. But what do they do for you. Should you get them? Are they worth it? Well, you’re about to find out.

For starters, let’s go over what an x-ray is. They’re called radiographs, and often, the dentist takes these x-rays if you’re new, haven’t been seen, or as a follow-up measure after some sort of treatment. There are some risk factors that might be considered, and your age and health might determine this too. Now, despite using shiny mirrors, dentists can’t see everything, and that’s why a dental x-ray is considered. It can detect damage to the teeth, but also the bone below the teeth, something that you can’t see during a typical exam. Along with that, you can also look to see if there are any issues, including cavities, and often, about half of the cavities that are diagnosed stem from these x-rays.

But along with that, you can see the teeth, the roots, the way the jaw is placed, and facial bones, and you can also be checked for gum disease, and how bad it is. You can also look for cysts and tumors as well, along with abscesses.

Now, these will help find dental problems early on. Why would you want that though? Well, it can save you a ton of money, pain, and also time. You won’t have to be there for very long, and in some cases, finding the hidden tumor can save your life. It’s a small price to pay for your own health.

Typically, you’ll get a bitewing x-ray, which is where you bite down on something, and they take a picture of your mouth. There is also the periapical x-ray, which tells the dentist how the teeth look, along with the roots. It can help to evaluate the structure of the tooth, including the bone levels, abscesses, and the cysts that might be there. Finally, there is the panoramic radiograph which will let the dentist see your full mouth. It includes the upper and lower parts of the jaw, and you can use this to look at a mouth completely. It’s common in kids and teens that have wisdom teeth to look at that might be growing in.

Now, re they dangerous? The answer, is no. They are safe, and while they do require radiation, the numbers are small, and with the increasing of modern x-rays being done, it requires a lot less radiation to do them than a traditional film might. Typically, the bitewing radiation trays, only contain .005 millisieverts of radiation, which is the same amount you get from the sun. It’s nothing at all. Most of our daily activities do expose us to radiation. From microwaves, to home appliances, to even sunlight and minerals, they all contain radiation. If you go on a plane, you’re exposed to radiation. If you use a phone, you’re going to get radiation. It’s a part of life, and the fear isn’t really as justified anymore.

Now, you can take precautions as well, and that’s what dental practices too. You’ll get a heavy apron put over, and it’ll help to block the radiation. The collar part also protects the thyroid, which will limit the exposure as well.

X-rays are safe for everyone, including pregnant women. It’s safe during all trimesters, and you should definitely let your dentist know. You might get two lead aprons if they need to be cautious.

X-rays aren’t that bad for you, and you’ll certainly like to have them if you’re looking to find out any oral problems. As for if they’re dangerous, that isn’t the case. They’re there to help you, to protect you, and you can get an x-ray from your Kennewick dentist if you’re really thinking about it. It’s one of the best ways to help yourself, and if you’re really looking to figure out some way to help improve your oral health, and to prevent anything from getting worse, you’ll definitely get that by an x-ray.


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