Not just fodder for the sci-fi fan, x-rays are truly amazing. Doctors use them to evaluate broken bones and serious medical issues that would be difficult to treat without the ability to “see” what is going on. Dental x-rays are a crucial component to your twice-yearly dental exams and cleanings because they are “pictures” of your teeth, bones and the soft tissues that surround them.
Damage to your teeth and gums that is not visible to your dentist’s naked eye becomes visible in an x-ray. The bone structure of your face and jaw and the location of impacted teeth and teeth that have not yet developed can also be seen. Cavities, gum disease, abscesses, tumors, and cysts can be seen and treated, sometimes with life-saving results.
Do you have concerns about how often you should get dental x-rays?
Every mouth is unique, so dental x-ray schedules are likewise unique. For our new patients, we find it helpful to take full-mouth x-rays. This helps us better evaluate your oral health and to track it for future visits. If you are switching dentists and recently had x-rays taken, you can ask your former dentist to send them to us.
There are 4 common types of dental x-rays:
1.The most common type is the “Bitewing,” which requires you to bite down on a piece of plastic with x-ray film in the center. Bitewings can determine the presence of decay between your teeth where decay-causing bacteria often hide.
2.“Occlusal” x-rays image the roof and floor of your mouth. They are used to locate teeth that have not yet broken through the gums, jaw abnormalities or fractures, and growths or cysts.
3.“Periapical” x-rays image the entire tooth, including the root, to help evaluate root structure and bone level, and to detect possible cysts and abscesses.
4.“Panoramic” x-rays produce a broad view of your sinuses, nasal area, teeth, and temporomandibular (TMJ) joints. They typically find impacted teeth, bone abnormalities, tumors, infections, and fractures.
Your individual needs and dental conditions are our first priority. We prescribe x-rays when they are appropriate. We invite you to call and schedule an appointment, today: 973.328.1225.