During your dental exam or cleaning, your dentist may recommend X-rays to diagnose oral health issues, or simply as a preventative measure. While you might worry that this will expose you to unnecessary radiation, this safe procedure actually promotes your wellbeing. Review the answers to some frequently asked questions below to learn more about what to expect.
Common Questions About Dental X-Rays
Why are dental x-rays useful?
If you're a new patient, X-rays can serve as a baseline for your oral health. X-rays can also help identify the cause of any undiagnosed dental issues. For example, if you have jaw pain, it could be due to wisdom teeth that are growing in but not yet visible above the gums. Finally, X-rays are also used to display signs of decay, periodontal disease, and tumors.
What do they show?
Different types of X-rays display different parts of the mouth. For example, a bite-wing image provides a view of the upper and lower back teeth, while a periapical image offers a view of one tooth from the crown to the supporting bone. A full mouth series provides a complete set of pictures, including all teeth and surrounding hard tissues.
Are they safe?
Yes. Dental X-rays require very low levels of radiation exposure. Additionally, dentists have tools to minimize exposure even further, such as leaded aprons and thyroid collars. The American Dental Association has also confirmed that dental X-rays are safe for pregnant women.
How often should you get them?
Like any dental treatment, the frequency of X-rays depends on your oral health. Generally, dentists recommend that adult patients get X-rays once a year, but you may need them more often if your wisdom teeth are erupting or you have alignment issues.
Apex Dental Care in Issaquah, WA, offers comprehensive oral healthcare services, including digital X-ray imaging. Since 2002, these dentists have been serving the King County community with state-of-the-art tools and techniques. Their team of professionals takes pride in their work and gives each patient the personalized attention they deserve. Review their offerings online, and call (425) 837-0383 to set up an appointment today.