Dental X-rays and Great Dental Health
One of the primary reasons patients visit us at A Plus Dental is so we can find dental problems before they turn into serious and costly concerns.
While physical examinations can detect apparent issues, some oral problems just aren’t visible to the unaided eye. This is why dental X-rays are such a critical tool in dental care.
Dental X-rays can uncover even the slightest traces of oral health problems at their earliest stages, such as cavities, gum disease, oral infections, and some types of tumours.
Thanks to dental X-rays, we can diagnose and treat dental problems long before they become more serious. With the early detection that X-rays allow, you can get the treatment you need before problems have a chance to develop.
Why dental X-rays are performed
If you’re a new patient, you’ll likely receive dental X-rays to give your dentist a clear picture of your dental health.
Children may need dental X-rays more often than adults because their teeth and jaws are changing far more rapidly than those of adults.
What issues can dental X-Rays detect?
For adults, dental X-rays are used to:
- Reveal areas of decay that may not be visible to the dentist’s eye
- Identify bone loss resulting from gum disease and reveal decay occurring under an existing filling
- Uncover abscesses
- Find changes in the bone or root canals caused by infection
- Reveal other developmental abnormalities, such as cysts and some tumours
In children, dental X-rays are used to:
- Reveal decay
- Discover if there is enough space in the mouth and jaw to accommodate incoming teeth
- Reveal if primary teeth are coming out quickly enough to allow permanent teeth to come in properly
- Estimate the development of wisdom teeth and determine if they are impacted
Types of X-rays
Bitewing, periapical, and panoramic radiographs are the X-rays most commonly used in dental offices. During routine exams, a dentist may take two to four bitewing x-rays – which show the crown portions of your teeth – to spot early signs of decay between your teeth.
Periapical X-rays provide the best view of your teeth’s bone height or root tips. A panoramic X-ray is taken from outside the mouth and gives a view of the entire oral cavity in one large image. Because the image shows all of the teeth, the upper and lower jaws, and the sinus areas, this type of X-ray can identify cysts, impaction, tumours, bone irregularities, and jaw disorders.
Other radiographs include occlusal X-rays, which are sometimes taken in children to evaluate their teeth as they develop, and cephalometric X-rays used to assist in planning orthodontic treatment.
How often should X-rays be performed?
Dental X-rays are typically performed once a year. They can be given more often if your Campbelltown dentist is keeping track of the progress of a dental issue or treatment.
Factors affecting how often you receive dental X-rays may include:
- how old you are
- your existing oral health
- any symptoms of oral disease
- a history of gum disease (gingivitis) or tooth decay
The frequency of X-rays on your teeth is related to your medical history, dental history, and overall condition. Some people may require X-rays twice a year; others with no recent oral issues and who visit their dentist on schedule may get X-rays only every couple of years. For most new patients, dentists take X-rays as part of a complete initial examination to establish a basic platform from which to compare changes that occur over time.
High risk of dental problems is another criteria:
- Patients with extensive dental work.
- People who drink too many sugary beverages (as a sugar-filled mouth creates a perfect environment for cavities to develop).
- People with periodontal (gum) disease to monitor bone loss.
- People who suffer from dry mouth—or xerostomia — whether due to medications (such as antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, antihistamines, and others) or other issues (such as damaged salivary glands, Sjögren’s syndrome, or radiation treatment to head and neck). Dry mouth can lead to the quick development of cavities.
- Smokers to keep track of bone loss resulting from periodontal disease (smokers are at increased risk of periodontal disease)
Pregnancy and dental X-rays
Not all x-rays are the same, but even most X-rays to the body pose minimal exposure to the mother and developing fetus. During dental X-rays, there is hardly any exposure to anything but the teeth.
It All Adds Up at A Plus Dental!
A Plus Dental believes in honesty, trust, individuality, compassion and comfort. Our goal is to give our Campbelltown area patients, from infants to seniors, caring, relaxing treatments in a comfortable environment.
When you choose A Plus Dental, you take the next step towards a beautiful, healthy smile with teeth that feel great in your mouth!!
We have over 30 years of combined experience and treat each of our patients with the utmost care and respect.
Call (02) 4627 3833 or visit us at Suite 3/300 Queen Street in Campbelltown