One aspect of a typical dental appointment that causes concern for a lot of patients is dental X-rays. It's standard procedure for dentists to take X-rays at appointments, but a lot of patients don't know why this is necessary and how important it can be to oral health. The following are five things you should know about dental X-rays if you are concerned or curious about this standard dental procedure:
These days, dentists can use digital X-rays that minimize radiation exposure.
The biggest reason why patients are concerned about X-rays is because they think a dental X-ray will cause some radiation exposure.
However, the truth is that an occasional dental X-ray will result in radiation exposure that is only a very small part of the radiation the average person is exposed to as part of everyday life.
If you are concerned about radiation exposure, ask your dentist about digital X-rays. Many dentists use this new technology that minimizes radiation exposure and speeds up the X-ray process.
X-rays can save you money and help you avoid uncomfortable procedures by detecting tooth decay as early as possible.
One of the primary purposes of dental X-rays is to detect tooth decay. An X-ray can detect tooth decay before symptoms are apparent.
Detecting tooth decay as early as possible is important because it will eventually spread and could reach the dental pulp, necessitating a root canal. Root canals can be expensive and are notoriously uncomfortable dental procedures.
There are a few different types of dental X-ray.
There are intramural and extraoral X-rays. Intraoral are taken of the inside of the mouth and extraoral X-rays are X-rays of the whole jaw and skull area.
Intraoral X-rays are the most frequent type of dental X-ray and include bite-wing X-rays, periapical X-rays, and occlusal X-rays.
A typical, healthy patient should have bitewing X-rays taken once a year.
Bite-wing X-rays are the simplest and most common type of dental X-ray. For most patients, one bite-wing X-ray per year is recommended to look out for tooth decay and monitor oral health.
X-rays can potentially save your life by detecting certain types of tumor in the mouth.
Statistics show that oral cancer kills one person every hour. As with any type of cancer, early detection and treatment can save a patient's life.
One important function of dental X-rays is detection of the growth of oral cancer tumors in the mouth. With X-rays, these tumors can be detected before the patient even starts to exhibit any other symptoms of oral cancer.
For more information, talk to a professional like Centre Family Dentistry.