Dental X-Rays: How Do They Work and Why Are They Needed?

Dental X-rays are a critical part of dental examinations. Most people over five will need X-rays once a year, though some who have advanced cavities and gum disease may require them more frequently. X-rays are a diagnostic tool that allow dentists to see deep into the tooth tissues. With X-rays, dentists can detect conditions like tooth decay and gum disease. They can also diagnose abscessed and injured teeth. 

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What Is a Dental X-ray?

Dental X-rays are radiographs that show the internal images of the teeth and jawbone. The dentist can use X-rays to view structures they cannot see with a physical exam, including inside the teeth, gums, jaws, and sinuses. Finding a nice dentist in sandy utah is one of the first steps toward getting proper dental care. 

What to Expect From a Dental X-ray: How Do They Work?

Dental X-rays work just like any other images taken of the body. Electromagnetic radiation passes through the soft tissues of the mouth and shows an image of the teeth and bones. Dentists may use traditional X-rays taken with film or digital X-ray options. Many dental offices now use digital X-rays because they require 80% to 90% less radiation. 

What Will a Dental X-ray Show?

Dentists will order  X-rays once a year for preventive dental care and when they suspect a condition inside the gums, teeth, or bones. Dentists can view the following on X-rays.

· Cysts or tumors

· Tooth infections

· Bone loss

· Gum infections

· Decay beneath fillings

· Impacted teeth

· Unerupted teeth

Dentists will also order patient X-rays to determine if care for orthodontics, dentures, bone grafts, dental implants, and root canal therapy. X-rays are painless, though some require you to bite on an X-ray film that can cause a brief period of discomfort, especially if there is decay or infection in the tooth or jaw. 

Types of Dental X-rays

Dentists use multiple types of X-rays, depending on the patient's condition. Knowing the various types helps patients prepare for their dental appointment without stress. 

Bitewing X-rays

Bitewing X-rays are conducted from the dental chair. Patients bite down on the X-ray film. Dentists typically use this type of X-ray to determine the source of tooth discomfort. 

Periapical X-rays

These are often called panoramic X-rays because they show the entire jawbones and teeth. Dentists will use these X-rays if there are serious oral health issues or when planning orthodontic intervention.

Occlusal X-rays

Occlusal X-rays show the health of the roof or floor of the mouth. Dentists use these X-rays when searching for a cleft palate or fractures.

Cone Beam X-rays

Cone beam X-rays convert 2D images to 3D images so dentists can better view the tooth structures. These are also referred to as CAT scan images. 

Cephalometric Projection X-rays

These X-rays show one full side of the head, and orthodontists often use them to determine the best plan of treatment to align the teeth and jaws. 

Schedule a Dental Appointment

If you need dental X-rays, scheduling an appointment with the dentist should be your first priority. Dental X-rays do not cause any pain and are done quickly. The dentist will have the images within seconds to minutes for a rapid diagnosis. 

Although the dentist will examine your mouth in its entirety, dental X-rays allow them to see deep beyond the soft tissues and into the boney structures. Your dentist can better diagnose your condition with X-rays. 

1 comment:

  1. Had my tooth extracted early this year due to some infections. Was the best decision ever! Wish i did it sooner.


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