It may seem normal for your dentist to recommend X-rays as a part of your routine dental check-up. These are productive diagnostic tools that aid in identifying diseases and pathologies associated with your teeth, gums, jawbones, and other supporting structures. 

Union City, Georgia family dental care includes dental X-ray facilities to provide specialists with an accurate diagnosis of oral problems. 

What are dental X-rays?

Dental X-rays are specialized painless diagnostic aids that help capture internal images of your teeth that are otherwise not visible to the naked eye. X-rays are invisible beams of a form of radiation energy. When a beam of radiation from a dental X-ray machine tube is targeted at your teeth, it penetrates deeper into the different layers and is absorbed differently depending on the density of the structures. The photons (electromagnetic particles) reach a receptor on the other side. This is traditionally a sheet of film that is processed in chemicals to produce the X-ray images.

Why are dental X-rays important?

Dental X-rays are increasingly popular and important because they:

  • Help dentists study tooth and root morphology
  • Detect a wide range of oral problems like:
    • Dental caries in interdental areas
    • Secondary caries beneath existing restorations
    • Dental fractures
    • Amount of bone loss
    • The exact position of unerupted or impacted teeth
    • Tooth abscess
    • Cysts (fluid-filled sacs) and tumors (abnormal tissue growth)
  • Determine your eligibility for certain treatments like orthodontic braces and dental implants 
  • Help evaluate the healing process after dental procedures like bone grafting and root canal therapy. 

Are dental X-rays safe? And how often are they required?

The amount of radiation exposure from a complete mouth series of X-rays is equal to the amount that you may receive in a single day from natural sources like your smartphones, computers, or television screens.

Moreover, to increase safety and efficiency, dentists take necessary precautions to limit your exposure to radiation through:

  • Lead aprons to shield your body 
  • Modern and fast films to cut down the exposure time 

The frequency of dental X-rays depends on your individual dental health needs. You will be advised to have an X-ray only if necessary based on the review of your medical and dental history, oral examination, symptoms, age considerations, and risk factors for the disease. 

Bottom line  

Like brushing and flossing, getting regular dental X-rays is an integral part of your overall oral health. Having a prompt and effective check-up is a relief, but care should be taken to opt for dental X-rays only when necessary. Fortunately, dentists employ every protective tactic possible during dental X-rays to ensure your safety.