Your dentist acts as one of your very important healthcare providers. They help to support your oral health and can discover and effectively treat oral health issues at a very early stage before it is allowed to worsen or cause more serious related health conditions.
Because dentists need to provide you with the best possible preventative care possible, they will need to perform regular check-ups to make sure your teeth and gums remain healthy and strong. A part of your regular dental examinations will involve taking dental X-rays so your dentist can get a very clear picture of what is going on with your oral health that is hidden from view.
Your dentist may be one of your health’s secret-superhero’s, but they are not blessed with natural X-ray vision. This is why they need to take peek into the internal workings of your jaw and teeth roots to make sure that there are no hidden issues developing in these areas.
What do dental X-rays show?
Dental X-rays can often show up early dental problems that even you may not be aware of. Catching things early can prevent them from developing into more serious conditions that could pose a threat to your health. Catching and treating conditions early can also mean that you can often avoid having more extensive, painful and expensive treatment later down the line.
You can also be left feeling reassured following your dental X-rays that your dentist has missed nothing from their examination. You can leave the surgery feeling confident that you have no cavities developing or anything worrying growing in your jaw such as potential growths that could be a sign of mouth cancer.
X-rays are comprehensive dental diagnostic tools
Also know as radiographs, dental X-rays allow your dentist to have some insight into the health and condition inside your teeth. Your X-ray will show the jawbone and roots of your teeth and your dentist will be able to check that everything is in it’s proper place.
X-rays are useful tools to help rule out any dental diseases that can develop hidden from view below your gums or in the supporting tissues of your mouth. Your images can help your dentist to target specific issues to help them with deep treatments such as root-canal surgery, bone tissue grafts and dental implants.
Should your dentist discover the presence of any issues such as an abscess, cyst or unusual mass, they can use the X-ray to help more accurately diagnose the issue and either treat the condition themselves, or refer you on to another medical specialist to receive appropriate treatment.
Most often, dentists will use X-rays to establish and monitor patients suffering with periodontal disease as the progress of the condition can be closely monitored through regular X-rays.
Should I be concerned about being exposed to X-rays?
Many people become worried about the health risks of being exposed to X-rays. While you are exposed to a short blast of very low-level radiation during your X-rays, the equipment used to take your images are specially designed to reduce the amount of radiation that you are exposed to so it is kept at an absolute minimum. Your exposure is so low that it is actually negligible.
Normal routine dental examination requires two small X-rays ,dose of which is less than two days of background radiation which inevitably we all are exposed to like sitting in front of Television , watching cell phones or taking a short flight from London to Frankfurt.
Most dental offices now use digital X-rays that further reduce your exposure to radiation, but you will be supplied with added protection by wearing a leaded bib, tabard or apron to protect your thyroid area. Today’s X-ray machines are so highly targeted that you don’t need to worry about having them taken.
If you are worried about having X-rays taken, talk to your dentist about your concerns and to seek reassurance that X-rays are perfectly safe for you to have taken.