The Importance of Dental X-Rays
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if your dentist could see right through your teeth or even right down into your jawbone? Well, he or she probably does that already – and although dentists aren’t gifted with natural x-ray vision, they do have some very handy x-ray equipment that lets them get an in-depth look at your teeth.
Important Diagnostic and Treatment Information
The information we gain from dental x-rays is very useful indeed. It helps us with diagnoses, and it also helps us to prepare for the treatment process. After all, when we see decay, it could just be the tip of the iceberg. Are we looking at a simple filling, or will you need a root treatment? It’s not just something we’d like to know before the time – you would too!
At times, we also use dental x-rays during treatments. For example, root canal treatments are incredibly delicate procedures. The “canals” that we must clear out to ensure that all traces of decay and infection have been removed are extremely tiny, and there are times when we use x-rays to be sure your tooth is now ready for its filling.
X-rays also help us to perform extractions neatly. It’s not as if everybody’s teeth have perfectly straight and predictable roots. X-rays show us the “lie of the land” so that we can extract the tooth as gently as possible.
But tooth decay and the anatomy of the tooth we’re working on are just two of the things we can learn more about thanks to x-rays. Cysts, abscesses, and even tumours can be spotted, helping us to give you the appropriate treatment for your needs.
What About the Lead Apron?
Many people worry that x-rays can be harmful, but dental x-rays use very low doses of radiation. Just to be extra safe, we protect you with a lead apron and thyroid protector. You should certainly tell your dentist if you have health concerns or if you are pregnant, but in the vast majority of instances, the dental x-ray helps you far more than it can possibly harm you.
Just to put the radiation you receive from x-rays into perspective, you would need five bitewing x-rays to equate to the amount of radiation you’d receive after a full day in the sun. However, we do know that our patients are concerned about radiation from x-rays, so we usually only perform x-rays after spotting signs of trouble.
Many people are worried about questioning a medical professional and will keep secret doubts and fears hidden. But we want our patients to feel safe and comfortable in our practice, and if you want to know more about the reasons for an x-ray, you have only to ask.
The same is true of any procedure we recommend. We usually take care to explain procedures in detail so that patients are full informed, but if you have any doubts or questions, nobody will be offended if you voice them.
When it comes to dental x-rays, we do not have any proof of harm caused, and we do know that they help us to give you better treatment. Having said that, we won’t x-ray teeth for no reason, so sit back, smile, and keep the bitewing nice and still so that we can get that perfect shot.