X-rays also termed as radiographs, are considered to be a significant element of dental care treatment. They help the dentists in gauging one’s oral health. A low level of radiation is passed through the interior of the gums and the teeth to capture the images. Basically, of two types, an intraoral and extraoral x-ray serve two different purposes.
Intraoral are those which are taken inside the mouth whereas the extraoral x-rays are taken outside of the mouth. However, the intraoral x-rays are believed to be the most significant ones as they provide specifics regarding the tooth, the bone as the supporting tissues as well. They not only help the dentist in finding the cavities but also enable him to have a look at the tooth roots, to check the health of the bone area surrounding the teeth and to analyze the status of the developing teeth.
How to Prepare for the Dental X-rays
There is no special preparation required for getting the dental x-rays done except that the patient should properly brush his teeth before the appointment. Upon reaching the dentist’s office, the patient will be made to sit in a chair along with a lead vest across his lap and chest. Then, the X-ray machine is positioned on the side of the head to click the images of one’s mouth.
Types of Dental X-rays
There are several types of dental x-rays, each of which provides a slightly different view of the mouth. Firstly, there is a bitewing x-ray which comprises of biting on a specially made piece of paper. The purpose of this x-ray type is to enable the dentist to know how well the crowns of the patient’s teeth match up.
Usually, it is executed to check if the cavities occur among the teeth. Another x-ray type is occlusal, which is performed when the jaw is closed. This type helps in detecting the anatomical abnormalities in the floor of the mouth. Most important type is that of panoramic x-rays. In this, the x-ray machine revolves around the head and examines for the wisdom tooth and the problems related to the jaw.
Are Dental X-rays Safe?
Some people are concerned about the radiations involved in dental x-rays. However, there are regulations and guidelines that require the dentists to keep the radiations to the minimum. In some states, there also exist strict protocols for protecting the public’s safety. It is for these reasons, the procedure of dental x-rays is considered highly safe. Rather than taking multiple images, dentists prefer to take a single shot to decrease the exposure. Also, there are leaded coverings which can protect the various body parts from radiation.
The Pros and the Cons
Dental x-rays are extremely important for diagnosing dental problems. The only concern or the risk associated with the dental x-rays if the amount of radiation emanating from the dental x-ray, but this should not stop someone from the x-rays and seeking dental care. The advantages of dental x-rays outweigh the risks. There are mental dental diseases that cannot be seen with the naked eye, for example, the infections in the bone and periodontal disease. Moreover, technology has greatly improved, and today’s dental x-rays expose one too much fewer radiations than before.
In a nutshell, getting the dental x-rays done is as important as brushing and flossing the teeth. After analyzing one’s health, age, and insurance coverage, the x-rays should be performed at least once a year. If a person experiences any pain or changes in his mouth, he should urgently visit his dentist and be committed on his appointments.