Dental X-rays are important for the accurate evaluation of problems not visible to the naked eye. Digital technology has improved the way dentists practice their craft. Thanks to science, digital X-rays are extremely safe, with 90 percent less radiation usage than film X-rays. Today’s digital radiography produces quality images within seconds, which can be viewed immediately by the dentist and patient.
Dental X-rays are a useful diagnostic tool when helping your dentistdetect damage and disease not visible during a regular dental exam. How often X-rays should be taken depends on your present oral health, your age, your risk for disease, and any signs and symptoms of oraldisease. For example, children may require X-rays more often than adults because their teeth and jaws are still developing and their teeth are more likely to be affected by tooth decay than those of adults. Your dentist will review your history, examine your mouth and then decide whether or not you need X-rays.
If you are a new patient, the dentist may recommend X-rays to determine the present status of your oral health and have a baseline to help identify changes that may occur later. A new set of X-rays may be needed to help your dentist detect any new cavities, determine the status of your gum health or evaluate the growth and development of your teeth.
Are you pregnant? Make sure to tell your dentist. During your pregnancy, you may need to have X-rays taken as part of your treatment plan for a dental disease. Use of the leaded apron and thyroid collar will protect you and your fetus from radiation exposure. Dental X-rays do not need to be delayed if you are trying to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.