What are Dental X-Rays?

Woman During X-RayDental X-rays are essentially pictures of what lies underneath the surface of your teeth and gums. They are 2D images that will showcase the health of your teeth, root systems, and jawbone so the dentists can determine what kind of regular or cosmetic dental care you need. The dentist can take two types of X-rays; on photographic film or digital. Digital images are more commonly used today because they are easier to store in computers and share with other professionals involved in the treatment.

The Benefits of Dental X-Rays

Experts recommend that you get dental X-rays regularly in order to keep track of your oral health. Here are some common benefits that outweigh any risks associated with this type of diagnostic imaging:

  • X-rays will help spot any small sections of decay or cavities. These problems are not always visible from the surface and can be found between the teeth or under fillings.
  • Untreated infections and cavities can cause infections in the bone that are not apparent from the surface. An X-ray will reveal these infections to the dentist.
  • Imaging will also help determine the health of your gums and spot early signs of periodontal disease. Early treatment will ensure these problems don’t develop into something severe.
  • Bacterial infections, wounds, and untreated dental problems can cause abscesses or cysts in and around the gums. X-rays will reveal these issues to the dentist clearly so they can develop a treatment plan.
  • X-rays will also highlight any developmental abnormalities in the teeth and jaw, including the presence of impacted wisdom teeth.

Most Common Types of Dental X-Rays

  • Dentist Showing Dental X-RayPeriapical – This type showcases the entire tooth so dentists can see the full structure from the bone in the jaw that supports the teeth to the crown.
  • Bite-Wing – This type showcases the lower and upper posterior teeth, which usually includes the molars. This treatment is used to determine if there is any decay present in between two teeth.
  • Panoramic – Dentists will use this X-ray if the patient requires orthodontic treatment or implant placement. It showcases the full view of teeth, jaw, the joints of the jaw, nose area, and sinuses.
  • Occlusal – This type is often used for children and helps dentists keep track of a child’s tooth development from primary to permanent teeth.

How Often do you Need to Take a Dental X-Ray?

This is usually determined by the current health and state of your mouth. If you are a new patient, the dentist will take a few preliminary images to determine your current dental health and recommend the frequency of future ones based on the information they collect. Children generally need X-rays more often than adults because they are more prone to dental problems.

How Much Radiation am I Exposed to During a Dental X-Ray?

Modern technology and dentistry standards ensure that you are not exposed to significant radiation during the examination process. Dentists will lower the X-ray dosage, provide a lead-lined apron to protect the rest of your body, and use well-maintained equipment.

You can contact our Family Dentists in Scarborough to learn more about dental x-rays and why they are required. Book your appointment with Sheridan Cyrus Dentistry today by calling 416-287-2426.

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1371 Neilson Road, Suite G01 Lower Level, Scarborough Ontario, M1B 4Z8

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