Dental X-rays are diagnostic tools that help your dentist detect damage and diseases that might not be noticed during a regular, visual dental exam.
How often X-rays should be taken is based on your current oral health, your age, your risk for diseases, and any signs and symptoms of oral diseases.
For example, children may need X-rays more often than adults because their teeth and jaws are still growing, and their teeth are more likely to be affected by tooth decay.
Your Nambour dentist will review your history, examine your mouth, and then decide whether or not you need X-rays.
Purpose of Dental X-rays
Dental X-rays are usually performed annually. They can be performed more often if your dentist is keeping track of the progress of a dental issue or treatment.
Factors affecting how frequently you get dental X-rays, include:
- current oral health
- symptoms of oral disease
- history of periodontal disease or tooth decay
If you’re a new patient, you are likely to undergo dental X-rays, especially if you don’t have any records from your previous dentist.
Children may need to undergo dental X-rays more often than adults because the growth of their permanent teeth requires close monitoring.
X-rays can help the dentist determine if temporary teeth need to be pulled to prevent complications.
Risks of Dental X-rays
While dental X-rays involve radiation, the exposure levels are so low that they are considered safe for children and adults.
Pregnancy is an exception to this. Pregnant women, or those believe they may be pregnant, should avoid all types of X-rays.
Tell your dentist if you are, or if you think you are, pregnant because radiation is not considered safe for developing fetuses.
Preparation for Dental X-rays
Dental X-rays don’t require any special preparation.
One thing you’ll need to do is brush your teeth thoroughly before your appointment to create a hygienic environment for those working inside your mouth.
X-rays are usually taken before cleanings.
At your dentist’s office, you’ll sit in a chair with a lead vest across your chest and lap. The X-ray machine is placed alongside your head to take images of your mouth.
Types of X-rays
Bitewing. This technique requires biting down on a piece of paper so that your dentist can identify how well the crowns of your teeth are positioned. This is often used to check the teeth for cavities.
Occlusal. This X-ray is performed with your jaw closed to see how your upper and bottom teeth complement each other.
It can also detect deformities in the floor of your mouth or the palate. This technique captures images of all of your teeth in just one shot.
Panoramic. This type of X-ray shows an image of the teeth, jaws, nasal area, sinuses, and the structures of the jaw, and is taken when a patient may need orthodontic treatment or dental implant surgery.
Periapical. This technique focuses on two complete teeth, from the root to crown.
Dental X-ray Procedures
X-rays are typically performed at Smiles Nambour. A dental professional will use a heavy lead apron to protect your body from radiation.
Next, the dental professional will put a small plastic device in your mouth and ask you to bite down on it. This holds the X-ray film in place.
The technician will proceed to take an image of the targeted area. The whole procedure is pain-free and will be repeated until images have been take of your entire mouth.
The use of X-rays provides less radiation to the patient and is convenient and timesaving for the dental practice.
After Dental X-rays
Your Nambour dentist will review your X-rays and check for abnormalities. If your dentist detects problems, such as cavities or tooth decay, they’ll discuss your treatment options.
Dental X-rays at Smiles Nambour
Dental X-rays performed at Smiles Nambour are guaranteed safe and beneficial. If you want to book a dental appointment with your Nambour dentist, visit us today!
We serve patients from Nambour and surrounding areas with topnotch dentistry.
HCF’s More for Teeth Program
HCF’s More for Teeth Program is here to help you maintain great oral health. Available to all HCF members with Extras cover, it includes two fully covered check-ups and cleans each year.
We are located at 4/104 Currie Street in Nambour.