If you regularly visit your family dentist, chances are you have had a few X-rays taken. Dental X-rays are extremely useful for the early detection and diagnosis of oral health problems, and anything else that may be harming your gums.
What Are Dental X-rays?
A dental x-ray is a 2D image that highlights the structure and anatomy of the bones and teeth inside your mouth, giving a detailed look at your gums and enamel. Dental X-rays come in one of two forms: Film and digital. Digital is quickly replacing film at most dental practices because it can be more quickly processed, easily archived, and emits nearly 80% less radiation than film.
Dental X-rays may be intraoral (taken from the inside of the mouth), or extraoral, (taken from the outside of the mouth):
- Intraoral X-rays provide a detailed image of the teeth, their structure, development, and overall health. It provides an image of the supporting bones which enables dentists to identify cavities, determine root health, and evaluate how securely anchored the tooth is to the jaw.
- Extraoral X-rays focus on larger-scale details such as the upper and lower jaw, and the structural bones of the head. These images help dentists identify issues like impacted teeth, fractures, and breaks. The dentist can also monitor jaw joint health and development.
How Often Should You Get an X-Ray?
Most dentists will try to avoid unnecessary X-rays to prevent patient exposure to radiation. Since dental X-rays are a diagnostic tool, if you are considered to be in good oral health a dentist won’t request X-rays very often. Generally, they’re needed every 12 months to evaluate your ongoing oral health.
If you have dental issues such as cavities, tooth rot, gum disease, gingivitis, or concerns with your jaw, then your family dentist will likely request more frequent X-rays to monitor your condition.
Why Are Dental X-rays Important?
Dental X-rays are a dentist’s best tool for detecting and preventing problems. Without an X-ray, you may experience an oral health issue that goes unnoticed and untreated. X-rays enable the dentist to create effective treatment plans at crucial moments to ensure your mouth is as healthy as possible.
Simcoe Smile Dental wants to keep your mouth happy and healthy. Call us today to discuss X-rays or other basic treatment: (289) 312-1482.