What Are Dental X-Rays?

Radiographs, known as x-rays by the majority of people, play an essential role in your dentist’s care plan. They are primarily used to diagnose symptoms, but can also be used as a preventative measure by aiding your dentist is diagnosing issues related to your oral health before they become a serious problem. The name for the procedure comes from the form of energy that is used, a ray that moves through the soft tissue of the body and is absorbed by denser tissues like bones and teeth. This creates a picture of whats going on inside the body.

Types of Dental X-Ray

X-rays are used to diagnose a host of problems experienced by dental patients, and different types of x-ray procedures were developed to get the images needed to address a host of issues. There are four common types of x-rays that are outlined below:

  • Periapical – This form of x-ray produces an image that reveals the entirety of a tooth from jawbone to crown, on both sides.

  • Bite-Wing – This form of x-ray was developed to reveal the teeth located in the back of the mouth on the top and bottom. It reveals the position of the teeth relative to each other and can show decay the dentist may not otherwise be able to see.

  • Panoramic – The sinuses, nasal area, jaws, and teeth are revealed through the use of panoramic imagery. This form of an x-ray is usually used when orthodontic treatment or implants are required by the patient.

  • Occlusal – This form of x-ray focuses on revealing any issues with the patient’s bite. It can also be used to examine the development of teeth in children and adults.


The Low Risk Of Dental X-Rays

Some people express concern about getting x-rays due to the radiation used to create them. This fear is unfounded, as the levels of radiation used are safe for both children and adults alike, and recent innovations have made the levels used even lower. Additional steps are taken to protect the patient by using lead bibs that cover the areas not being imaged. In spite of the safety of x-rays, it is generally advised that pregnant women avoid getting them if at all possible. The developing nature of the fetus is unlikely to be harmed, but it is generally avoided regardless.

Getting Prepared

Thankfully there’s very little you need to do to prepare for dental x-rays. Generally, you just have to show up at the clinic, and your dentist will take it from there. Typically your hygienist will prepare you for the x-ray, and it will be taken right there in the dental chair.

If you’ve got more questions about dental x-rays, then its time to schedule an appointment with your dentist. A phone call to Alvarado Family Dental Center will get you an appointment in Los Angeles, CA, with Dr. Alireza Movassaghi. Their team will set you up with a consultation and exam to get you started on the road to exceptional dental health.

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