At Ashley Bennett, DDS, we strive to prevent oral health problems before they become time-consuming and costly complications. To achieve this goal, we recommend routine dental visits and professional cleanings at regular intervals. During your visit, we will perform a comprehensive exam to look for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and any other dental disease. Dental X-rays, or radiographs, are usually an essential part of your comprehensive exam.
What Are Dental X-Rays?
X-rays are a diagnostic tool that gives us a detailed look at your teeth, underlying bone, and supportive tissues. The x-rays are so effective because they permeate through soft tissues and are absorbed by more dense tissues. This allows us to examine areas of the mouth that are not initially visible to the naked eye. In other words, x-rays allow us to:
- Diagnose cavities and tooth decay
- Ensure the underlying bone is healthy
- Check the status of developing health
- Determine the extent of periodontal disease
- Get a more detailed look at the tooth roots
- Prevent other oral health complications
X-rays are broken down into two categories, intraoral and extraoral. Intraoral cavities are the most common and useful type of radiography in dentistry. This includes periapical, bite-wing, and occlusal x-rays.
Are Dental X-rays Safe?
These days, x-rays are safer than ever before. The x-rays we use in dental offices emit very low doses of radiation, and with the advent of digital x-rays, these doses are getting even smaller. In fact, the use of digital x-rays reduces radiation by as much as 80%. Other improvements in technology have also improved the safety of x-rays. This includes better film, film holders, lead shields, regular inspections, and limited use.
While routine x-rays can typically be postponed if you are pregnant, you may still need one if restorative treatment is necessary. Do not be apprehensive. According to the American College of Radiology, a single diagnostic x-ray does not have a radiation dose significant enough to cause adverse effects on a developing fetus. With the proper safety precautions, an x-ray during your pregnancy is considered safe.
Are Dental X-rays Safe for Kids?
If you are a parent, you may be wondering about dental x-rays for your child. Not only are dental x-rays safe for children, but they are also paramount, especially if your child is at greater risk for dental diseases. A dental x-ray can help us diagnose decay, pathology, and other abnormalities before they cause issues with their permanent teeth.
Children at lower risk for cavities and gum disease usually require less x-rays. However, routine appointments and professional cleanings are still an integral part of their oral health. If your child does need an x-ray, rest assured knowing they are safer than ever before.
How Long Do X-rays Take?
Thanks to advancements in digital technology, x-rays are less time consuming. The images captured by a digital x-ray are sent directly to our computers in a matter of seconds. The images can be viewed right away, without having to develop any film. This also means we can retake an x-ray almost immediately if the image is distorted. All in all, a full mouth series of x-rays typically take about 25 minutes.
Schedule Your Appointment
If you are need of professional oral healthcare, call (503) 292-8996, and schedule your appointment today!