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What Are Dental X-rays?

Dental x-rays are also called dental radiographs. X-rays are a vital tool in all areas of dentistry. Your dental professional uses x-rays to diagnose dental issues that cannot be seen with the naked eye. These areas are often under the gums or between the teeth. Radiographs offer a 2D image of the bone and teeth in the mouth.

Why Are They Necessary

Your dentist prescribes dental x-rays based on your individual needs. Certain factors are taken into account when prescribing x-rays. Factors such as your age, oral condition, dental history, risk of developing cavities, amount of dental fillings, dental implants, dental crowns, etc.

Issues with wisdom teeth that are either coming in or that have not come in can be diagnosed with x-rays. X-rays are used to check and monitor the development of teeth in children and teenagers.

Dental pain is sometimes hard to diagnose especially when the pain occurs due to an issue under the gums. Dental x-rays can diagnose current issues, and even detect potential issues before they become more severe. As well, some dental issues may not result in any pain until they become severe. Regular dental check-ups and preventive x-rays will help you to avoid costly dental treatment by using preventive measures.

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Benefits And Risks

While dental x-rays do produce ionizing radiation exposure, the levels are minimal when compared to other sources. Radiation exists naturally in the environment that we are exposed to on a daily basis. Most dental offices now use digital x-ray technology which results in as much as 90% less radiation. As well, digital x-rays offer greater diagnostic ability when viewed on a computer as they allow changes in contrast, brightness, sharpness, etc. to help with diagnoses.

All dental professionals follow the ALARA principle which aims to produce radiation levels as low as reasonably achievable. Protective equipment is also placed on patients to rule out exposure to other areas of the body.

Dental x-rays are a vital part of any dental check-up or exam. The benefits of radiographs far outweigh the minimal risks when it comes to treatment and diagnosis of your oral health. Contact us today to schedule your dental visit.