Dental X-rays are an important tool that your dentist uses to diagnose your overall oral health. X-rays can reveal issues that might not be immediately apparent in a surface checkup, and help give your dentist a better idea of the health of your mouth and teeth.
What X-Rays Reveal
X-rays help in the diagnosis of a variety of issues including:
- Root resorption
- Impacted teeth
- Problems with the jawbone
- Irregularities in the tooth roots
These issues are often not visible on the surface of the tooth, and if left undiagnosed can cause long term problems.
Most dentists recommend different types of X-rays at different intervals. For example, bite-wing X-rays are administered more frequently than the more comprehensive panoramic X-rays. Following your dentist’s recommended schedule for X-rays will help you maintain healthy teeth in the long run.
Are X-Rays Dangerous?
Because X-rays work by emitting a form of radiation, some people have expressed concern that exposure to this radiation might be dangerous or unhealthy. In fact, the amount of radiation emitted by a single X-ray is much less than the normal background radiation to which we are exposed every day.
When you visit the dental office, you will be given a protective apron to wear while your X-rays are being taken. This apron contains lead, which blocks the X-rays. If you are pregnant or believe you could be pregnant, most dentists recommend that you avoid X-rays. Although the danger is still minimal, X-rays are more likely to cause problems with a developing fetus because the cell growth, multiplication, and changes occur so rapidly.
In an effort to greatly reduce exposure to harmful radiation, the dentists at Fielder Park Dental use digital X-rays, which is a far healthier alternative to conventional X-rays. If you have any concerns about the frequency or safety of X-rays, discuss these issues with your Arlington, TX dentist to develop an approach and a schedule that works best for you.