inspect, detect, and treat if necessary
Dental x-rays (radiographs) are an essential diagnostic tool that reveals information otherwise not visible on clinical inspection. With prevention and early detection as our goal, dental radiographs represent an invaluable tool to accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities and pathology.
What do dental radiographs show? Dental radiographs provide information that is often critical to instituting successful treatment as well as revealing disease and related issues that would otherwise remain hidden. Dental radiographs assist in effectively evaluating:
- Levels of jaw bone support, a critical element in detection and monitoring gum disease
- Eruption of teeth, missing teeth & impacted teeth
- Problematic tooth and /or root positioning
- Decay between teeth
- Decay below large fillings, crowns and bridge work
- Status of a root canal treated tooth
- Pathology (abscess, cyst, tumors, etc.)
- Developmental abnormalities
How often should dental x-rays be taken? Dental x-rays are prescribed on a patient specific basis. These are however generally recommended schedules for x-rays to be taken:
Complete Set of X-rays (Full Mouth Series)- A complete x-ray series is generally recommended as part of a new adult patient examination and generally thereafter repeated every 3-5 years
Cavity Detecting X-rays (Bitewings)- It is generally recommended that bitewing x-rays be taken as part of recall check-up visits every 1-2 years
Are dental radiographs safe? Rest assured that every effort is made to limit radiation exposure to our patients. Firstly, x-rays are only prescribed as needed instead of taken as a screening tool. When x-rays are taken, we are extremely careful to limit radiation exposure through the use of a lead apron with thyroid collar, lead lined x-ray operatories and fast films that reduce radiation exposure time.
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