“Why Do My Teeth Need an X-Ray?” grumble some patients when they hear the request for X-rays from their dentists. We understand the aggravation. Wearing a lead apron while staying still and biting down on an apparatus is nobody’s idea of fun, and the procedure does cost money. But the long-term information provided greatly outweigh the temporary hassles you endure.
X-rays Give Benefits to You
By using X-rays, your dentist gets considerable information about your dental health. This includes:
- The areas hidden from eyesight. The tips of your teeth’s roots, bone underneath your teeth and the pulp (the core of your teeth made of nerves and blood vessels) are all areas where X-ray see what normal vision cannot. X-rays also assist in finding hard-to-detect decay between your teeth or under your fillings.
- Status of your preventive care. Your dentist can see potential problem areas occurring with your teeth and let you know what steps you need to take to address them. This includes diagnosing gum disease, bone decay, and the presence of any cysts, abscesses and other masses.
- Tooth development. X-rays give dentists a reliable record of how children’s teeth are growing and help them detect any issues arising from them.
But What About … ?
Even given all these advantages, some people worry about the safety of dental X-raying, also known as dental radiography, being used on them. Specifically, they fear the effects of exposure to the radiation from the process.
To answer those concerns, the American Dental Association notes that “Radiation exposure associated with dentistry represents a minor contribution to the total exposure from all sources, including natural and man-made.” Additionally, state laws and regulations set specific requirements for the use of ionizing radiation (which encompasses X-rays), including North Carolina.
At Klooster Family Dentistry, our radiography machines use a digital sensor in place of film, which means our images require 90 percent fewer radiation than film X-rays. We do everything to make the process of X-raying your teeth as convenient and fast as possible, with digital imaging providing instant results we can examine with far more detail than the old film X-rays.
Should you have any other questions or concerns about X-rays, make an appointment with us to discuss them and learn how and why we use radiography to benefit your dental health. We look forward to seeing you in person soon!