Dental radiographs, most commonly known as dental X-rays, provide so much convenience in dentistry. Through dental X-rays, dentists can quickly and easily assess their patient’s dental and oral health by identifying any problems concerning the patient’s teeth, gums, jaw, and soft tissues in the mouth. Simply put, dental X-rays can help dentists provide a more accurate diagnosis and treatment for the benefit and convenience of their patients.
As you may know, the radiation from the X-rays can impact a person’s health. That is why some patients are hesitant about undergoing dental X-rays. But are there worries warranted? Read on to find out.
Types of Dental X-Rays
There are several types of dental X-rays. These X-rays significantly differ from each other as they are created and designed to serve different functions.
With that said, here are the six types of dental X-rays:
- Bitewing – Helps identify cavities in hard-to-reach areas of the mouth by examining the crowns of the lower and upper teeth in one section
- Panoramic – Unlike bitewing, this projects the entire mouth to be able to track a child patient’s teeth development and determine whether they need orthodontic services
- Periapical – Shows a tooth from its crown to the root to examine one or a few teeth for cavities, root problems, and other oral health issues
- Occlusal – Displays the arch of the top or bottom teeth
- Cone-beam Computerized Tomography (CBCT) – Illustrates a 3D view of the patient’s mouth to assess teeth development or spacing
- Orthodontic – Shows the side of the head of a child patient
Who Would Need a Dental X-Ray?
Before you visit a dental house to undergo a dental X-ray, you should first understand and learn why some patients need it in the first place. A dentist can recommend a patient to undergo a dental X-ray for various reasons.
These are the patients whom a dentist will most likely advise to get a dental X-ray:
- Patients who suffer from an oral health injury – Having a dental X-ray will greatly help a dentist monitor a child or adult patient’s condition and use this as a guide for their treatment
- Patients who suffer from oral infections – With dental X-rays, a dentist can quickly identify and assess several oral infections, including cavities and gingivitis.
- Patients who may need an orthodontic treatment – Dental X-ray help a dentist determine whether a patient needs to undergo orthodontic treatment or not
Is it safe to undergo Dental X-Ray?
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), dental X-rays emit radiation like any other form of X-ray. However, dental X-rays emit a minimal amount of radiation compared to others. To better regulate and monitor the safety and effectiveness of dental radiographs, ADA offered safety guidelines for dental professionals to follow, called “Image Gently.”
Some of its guidelines instruct dentist to:
- Use X-rays only if they are needed
- Use devices that have a fast image receptor
- Direct the X-ray beam exclusively to the treatment area
- Reduce exposure to a “child-size” dose
- Perform CBCT only when it is necessary
- Provide a thyroid collar or shield to the patient when undergoing dental X-ray
The Image Gently is only a guideline provided by ADA. As of this writing, there are still no standard safety guidelines applicable to all states. Therefore, practices and procedures may vary from every state or healthcare facility.
Dental X-rays help promote better dental and oral treatment by providing a quicker and more convenient way of assessing a patient’s dental and oral health. Remember that there are different types of dental X-rays, and they all function differently. In regards to its safety, dental radiographs emit less radiation compared to other forms of X-ray. However, this may vary depending on the dental house that you’ve gone to.
If you are looking for a children’s dentist in Ann Arbor, get in touch with us today. Our dental house can offer Digital 2D and 3D Dental X-rays CT Scan for our patients. Visit us to get excellent and affordable dentistry.