Taking care of your teeth by scheduling twice-yearly dental exams is smart. Dental x-rays are an important and valuable part of these exams. They are essentially “pictures” of your teeth, bones, and the soft tissue around them. X-rays use small amounts of radiation but are important because they can detect damage to your teeth and gums that is not visible. They also show the condition of your teeth and roots, and the structure of your facial and jaw bones. X-rays can detect gum disease, cavities, abscesses and many abnormal growths, such as cysts and tumors. Additionally, they can show the location of impacted teeth and teeth that have not yet developed.
Do you need x-rays every six months?
Everyone and every mouth is unique – and x-ray schedules are equally unique. If you are a new patient, we typically take full-mouth x-rays to evaluate your oral health and to track it during future visits. If you have changed dentists and recently had x-rays taken, you can ask to have them sent to us so we are up-to-date on your oral health.
What are the different kinds of x-rays?
- The most common type of x-rays are known as “bitewing” x-rays, which require you to bite down on a piece of plastic with x-ray film in the center. Bitewings can determine the presence of decay between your teeth, the most common area where decay-causing bacteria reside.
- Periapical x-rays provide an image of your entire tooth, including the roots, to help evaluate your particular tooth’s root structure and bone level, and detect possible cysts and abscesses.
- Occlusal x-rays show the roof or floor of your mouth. They are used to find teeth that have not yet broken through the gums, jaw fractures, growths or cysts.
- Panoramic X-rays show a broad view of your jaws, teeth, sinuses, nasal area, and temporomandibular (TMJ) joints. They don’t find cavities but they do show problems such as impacted teeth, bone abnormalities, tumors, infections, and fractures.
What about exposure to radiation?
Dr. Holbrook has been trained to prescribe x-rays only when they are appropriate, and to tailor their frequency to your individual needs.
Your dental health is important to us. Call to schedule an appointment, today: (505) 881-1159.