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Frequently asked questions to a Dentist York

Why does my dentist take X-rays?

Dental X-rays are used to take pictures of the teeth, bones, and surrounding soft tissues. X-ray pictures can show tooth decay, hidden dental structures, and bone loss that cannot be seen during a visual examination.

The following types of dental X-rays are commonly used.

  • Bitewing X-rays use the least amount of radiation and show the upper and lower back teeth in a single view. They are used to detect decay between the teeth and to show how well the upper and lower teeth line up. They also show bone loss that usually indicates the presence of severe gum disease or a dental infection.
  • Periapical X-rays show the entire tooth from the exposed crown to the end of the root and the bones that support the tooth. These X-rays are used to detect dental problems below the gum line or in the jaw, including the presence of impacted teeth.
  • Occlusal X-rays show the roof or floor of the mouth and are used to detect the presence of extra teeth, teeth that have not yet broken through the gums, jaw fractures, a cleft in the roof of the mouth (cleft palate), cysts, or growths (such as a tumour). Occlusal X-rays may also be used to locate foreign objects.
  • Panoramic X-rays provide a broad view of the jaws, teeth, sinuses, nasal area, and temporomandibular (jaw) joints. These X-rays reveal problems such as impacted teeth, bone abnormalities, cysts, solid growths (tumours), infections, and fractures.

A full-mouth series of periapical X-rays, which may consist of 14 to 21 X-rays, are most often done during the first visit to the dentist. Bitewing's are used during checkups to help the dentist diagnose tooth decay. Panoramic X-rays may be used periodically to screen for dental conditions. Like other aspects of your dental care, dental X-rays are scheduled on an individual basis and may vary with your age, risk for disease, and signs of disease.

Are dental X rays safe?

There is always a slight risk of damage to cells or tissue from being exposed to any radiation, including the low levels of radiation used for this test. However, the risk of damage from the X-rays is usually very low compared with the potential benefits of the test. In some cases, a previous X-ray can be used instead of having a new X-ray done.

If you are worried speak to your dentist and explain your fears.

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