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A vital component of effective dental treatment, X-rays have revolutionized the practice of oral medicine over the last century. Dentists rely on X-ray imaging to reveal details of the teeth and gums that can’t be seen with the naked eye, allowing them to provide the most thorough dental examination and the best possible treatment. X-rays pass through less dense materials and are absorbed by denser objects, which is why they are so effective in visualizing bones and abnormalities. They pass through the soft tissue of the gums, cheeks, and even cavities and are absorbed by teeth and fillings, allowing clear images to be created of the structures inside the mouth.
Dental X-rays make it possible for your dentist to:
See areas of decay that might not be obvious from a visual examination, such as under an old filling or between the teeth Safely and precisely place braces and other orthodontia, implants, or dentures Examine older fillings for cracks, flaws, or damage Discover bone loss related to osteoporosis or gum disease See the health of the root canal and nerves Discover other problems, such as infections, oral cancer, or cysts, which might not be apparent from a visual exam Unlike their predecessors, modern digital X-rays are extremely safe, emitting only a fraction of the radiation that was once required for X-ray imaging.
Thanks to innovations like lead aprons for protection, faster film, and better machines, radiation exposure is very limited. Best of all, the newest digital X-rays, known as "digital radiography," use only 10% of the radiation that today's standard X-rays employ. This makes it possible for us to get the images we need to provide you with excellence in dental care, without risking your health in any way. How often do you need to have X-rays of your teeth? Most patients: Every year.
Adults with good oral hygiene and no history of dental problems: Every 1 to 2 years. Children and people who are especially at risk for cavities: Every 6 months to 1 year. People with periodontal disease, extensive restoration work, smokers, or others at risk for gum and mouth diseases: Every 6 months.