Jul 25, 2018

At your first dental visit, one of the activities that takes place is that a series of X-Ray images are captured, but why are they so important? Furthermore, is there a limit to how many should be taken? As you read on, your dentist in Venice weighs in with answers to these questions and provides more helpful information, so you’ll be prepared for your first preventive care visit.

Why are x-rays taken?

Dental X-Rays are taken because they provide your dentist with the ability to see areas of your oral cavity that can’t be viewed with human eyes. These photos are especially important to capture at your first dental visit because they help to set a baseline for your oral health. Thus, as time goes along, your dentist can better spot trends and deviations from the norm. Ultimately, this amounts to better care.

Additionally, X-Rays are used to find the exact location of a problem. Thus, when treatment is delivered, you can rest assured that it’s accurate and effective.

The different types of x-rays

There are three types of X-Ray photos, each serving a different purpose:

  • Bitewing – The most common type of X-Ray taken, the bitewing provides an image of the crown of your teeth and helps to identify cavities.
  • Periapical – To evaluate a tooth’s bone height or root tips, a periapical X-Ray is used. This helps in determining whether a tooth is salvageable when there has been decay.
  • Panoramic – As the root ‘pan’ suggests, the panoramic X-Ray provides your dentist with a complete view of your entire oral cavity, including your teeth and jawbone.

Are x-rays safe?

Many people are concerned about being exposed to excessive amounts of radiation from X-Rays. Thankfully, there are standards that all medical professionals adhere to lessen patients’ exposure.

The basic rule of thumb is to take as few pictures as possible. These are the usual times they are taken:

  • First visit
  • Six-month visits (depending on the dentist)
  • Every Two Years (if there haven’t been any oral issues)

The advantage of technology

One of the latest innovations in the world of dentistry that greatly lessens patient exposure to radiation is the digital X-Ray. Not only does it provide precise imaging faster, it also reduces the exposure to radiation by as much as 90%.

Your dentist’s ultimate goal is to ensure that you receive the absolute best care in the safest manner, and carefully administered X-Rays play a key role in the equation.

About the Author

Dr. R. Scott Thompson earned his dental degree from the Emory University School of Dentistry and has gone on to log nearly thirty years of experience as a dentist. In addition to providing excellent care, he’s also a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Florida College of Dentistry. In his quest for more knowledge, Dr. Thompson has also pursued continued education from prestigious institutions such as the International College of Dentists and the International College of Oral Implantologists. He practices at Tarpon Shores Dental and can be reached for more information through his website.