It is not uncommon when visiting your dentist in Marietta for them to recommend dental x-rays. These digital images have come a long way since the traditional methods that used film and high amounts of radiation. But why are they necessary? Do they really provide your dentist with additional information about your oral health? Read on to discover how looking underneath the visible surface of your teeth and gums can make a big difference in the longevity of your smile.
Why Are Dental X-Rays Necessary?
If your dentist were to only recommend treatment based on what they see above the surface of your smile (i.e., gums and tooth crowns), there is a good chance you might develop a serious problem at some point in your oral healthcare journey. While many issues do exist on the surface, it requires dental x-rays to capture a more in-depth look at the entire oral cavity and facial structure to determine if a problem exists in an area unseen by the naked eye.
While discussions continue regarding the safety of these x-rays, there have been extraordinary advancements in dentistry and the technology used, making this process safer than ever before. Emitting as much as 90% less radiation than traditional methods, digital x-rays give your dentist the information they need to provide a well-rounded and more accurate treatment plan.
Are There Risks?
Most individuals worry that dental x-rays will cause too much radiation exposure; however, with the changes in technology and dental equipment, these levels are now too low that they are deemed safe for both kids and adults. When preparing to have dental x-rays taken of your smile, you’ll receive a lead bib, which you will wear over your body (i.e., chest, stomach, and pelvis), and your dentist may also place a thyroid collar. The only individuals who should avoid dental x-rays are pregnant women, as any amount of radiation could be unsafe for babies in the womb.
How Often Are They Needed?
Some dentists continue to capture new dental x-rays once a year to receive the most updated and accurate images. However, the recommendation by the American Dental Association (ADA) is to allow healthy adults without any noticeable problems to go 2-3 years before having new x-rays taken of their smile. How often your dentist takes digital images of your mouth is based on how well you take care of your smile at home.
But should you require dental x-rays during your next visit, you’ll be pleased to learn that your dentist will help you become more familiar with your oral cavity by projecting the image onto a nearby computer screen. This will allow you to see problem areas up-close and better understand the type of treatment your dentist is recommending.
There is far more to your mouth than what can be seen with the naked eye. Allowing your dentist to take dental x-rays will only ensure the health and longevity of your smile.
Posted on behalf of Envision Dental