January 31

The Importance of Dental X-Rays Before Your Evaluation

Dental x-rays play a significant role in general dentistry and helps your  dentist to be more precise in identifying any issues or diseases.

It is standard practice to have an x-ray or radiograph along with your dental exams.

However, some people are concerned about their health and think the radiation from the x-ray is harmful to their health. In this blog, we will discuss dental x-rays in detail to help you make a knowledgeable decision.

What’s the Purpose of X-rays?

Importance ofdental xrays

The main purpose of radiographs (dental x-rays) is to diagnose dental infections.

Your dentist uses the results from the x-rays to identify symptoms of infections, even before they become evident.

This helps treat those conditions as early as possible before they become worse and require advanced treatment.

The x-rays provide images from parts of your mouth that the dentist can’t see.  It creates a vivid picture showing your soft tissues’ differences.

With this information, your dentist can diagnose or ‘uncover’ gum disease, tooth decay, and other dental conditions early enough.

Without x-rays, the dentist would likely miss potential tooth decay and more serious problems if they had to conduct an exam with naked eyes. Studies have shown that there’s an 80 percent chance you will develop more dental issues if your dentist only did visual exams. X-rays also allow them to see the roots of your teeth, your jaw, and other important structures in your mouth.

Who can have Radiographs?

If you are visiting a dentist for the first time, it is imperative that you have an x-ray. Once your dentist has a clear picture of your dental health in fact they may even ask for previous x-rays for comparison; especially crucial if you are prone to gum disease.

It is worth noting that there are several factors that may affect how often you should get x-ray checks; these factors include:

  • Your overall oral health
  • Your age
  • Symptoms of oral disease
  • A history of cavities and gum disease

Children are more prone to cavities than adults. Therefore, they may undergo more checks to reduce the risk of developing cavities.

X-rays tell the dentist if and when it becomes necessary to extract baby teeth to help avoid complications, For example, permanent teeth growing behind the baby teeth.

Dental Xrays

Do Dental X-rays Pose Any Risks?

While there is radiation involved, the level of exposure is considered safe for both adults and children. Studies show that radiographs used in dentistry, only 2.5 percent of radiography in other medical fields (ADA research). Moreover, your exposure is lower when dentists use x-ray than what is used to develop an image on film.

It is also worth noting that dentists undergo training on how to handle x-ray, and your vital organs are always protected from unnecessary exposure.

You have nothing to worry about radiation exposure from dental x-rays.

However, you should avoid dental x-rays if you are pregnant. Radiation is not safe for a developing fetus. Inform your dentist if you are pregnant before the exam, so they won’t perform an x-ray on you.

Radiograph Preparation

Do Xrays pose any health problems

You won’t need any special preparation to get a dental x-ray. The only preparation you may do is brush and floss your teeth before going to the clinic to provide a hygienic environment for the dentist since x-rays are generally done before a professional cleaning.

How Often Should One Have X-rays?

Your dentist will advise you on how often you should have x-ray checks, depending on your oral health. Listen to your dentist. Potentially, one x-ray exam could prevent a severe dental condition.

How often should I have xr-ays done

After X-rays

During the x-ray, the dentist will guide you through each step and ask you to sit still while they take the necessary pictures in your mouth. Once the images are ready, your dentist will review them, checking for any abnormality. Afterwards, they will discuss the results of your x-ray and give their professional advice.

If the images show any issues, such as cracks or decay, the dentist will discuss treatment options with you. If there are no problems found, the dentist will give you oral health tips to help you stay healthy & free of dental issues.

Dr Dennis Cochran's Dental Clinic

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