Palo Alto, CA
Dental x-rays are a simple yet highly effective procedure we use in oral care. We perform dental x-rays just as regularly as oral exams or teeth cleanings.
Our experts at Palo Alto Oral Health will perform comprehensive dental x-rays to check for any oral issues you might have. Also referred to as radiographs, dental x-rays are highly reliable in revealing underlying oral conditions.
What Are Dental X-Rays?
Digital x-rays, or dental x-rays, are images of your teeth that reveal details of your oral health. We use these images to monitor your oral health and check for any underlying issues. Low radiation levels of the x-ray machines create a still image of your gums and teeth.
Through radiography, we can identify potential issues or underlying conditions like impacted teeth, dental cavities, and tooth decay. We also use digital x-rays to determine if you have benign masses or malignant bone loss.
As much as the rate at which x-rays are taken depends on the patient's health and age, we often take teeth x-rays annually. Children aged below 10 need dental x-rays more regularly as we need to manage their growing teeth. This ensures that any oral defects are detected and treated early.
Why Dental X-rays Are Performed
You might wonder why dental x-rays are performed and their purpose. Here are some of the reasons why we perform dental x-rays.
||To Identify Decay: In some cases, it can be difficult to identify tooth decay. If the condition occurs in deeper parts of your teeth, a dental x-ray will help identify it. We also use x-rays to identify decay beneath existing dental fillings. It is challenging to assess fillings without specialized equipment, and dental x-rays serve that purpose.
||To Diagnose Dental Issues: Another reason we perform dental x-rays is to diagnose issues with your oral cavity. X-ray images will reveal any defects you have with your teeth and jaw and initiate early treatment. Dental x-rays often reveal conditions like impacted teeth. We can also detect a damaged jawbone through dental x-ray.
||To Monitor the Growth of Teeth in Children: A child's adult teeth should grow correctly to avoid future oral problems. A cavity x-ray will help reveal any defects and allow our experts to fix them promptly. This ensures that your child's oral health is in excellent condition.
||For a Comprehensive Evaluation: If you are a new patient, we will perform a dental x-ray to help us understand your oral health. This is a quick way of identifying any oral problems you might have.
Types of Dental X-Rays
There are different types of dental x-rays, with each type performing a unique evaluation. The different types of dental x-rays give us information about specific areas of interest.
Also referred to as PAs, these x-rays take a complete picture of your tooth, from the top of the crown to the bottom of the root. These dental x-rays are taken if only a specific tooth in your mouth is affected. PAs can be used for follow-up on dental procedures like tooth reconstruction. Our experts sometimes use periapical x-rays to check whether your tooth has an abscess, deep decay, or any defects that might cause health problems.
These are one of the most commonly used x-rays in dental practice. While we don't use them as frequently as PAs, occlusal x-rays provide valuable information in helping reveal various defects you might have. We perform occlusal x-rays to show the roof or floor of the mouth and check for tumors, cysts, abnormalities, extra teeth, impacted teeth, and any problems you might have in the jaw.
Also referred to as panorex, panoramic x-rays are taken after every three to five years. We use panoramic x-rays to prepare your teeth for braces or other oral devices.
Our experts use panoramic x-rays to prepare patients for different types of oral surgeries, including wisdom teeth extraction. They reveal hidden details about your teeth and gums that we use to make the surgery more effective.
Are Dental X-Rays Safe?
One of the common questions we get regarding implant dental x-rays is, are dental x-rays safe? Dental x-rays are safe and don't have any harmful effects. If you didn't know, an x-ray is a kind of energy absorbed by dense tissue but can pass through soft tissues and map them on a display device.
Since teeth and bones are so dense, they can absorb x-ray energy without discomfort. This allows us to check for any abnormalities or potential issues you might have without obstruction.
The fact that x-rays expose your body to some kind of radiation raises questions about its safety. There are also concerns about the long-term effects dental x-rays have on the patient's health.
Thankfully, modern dental x-rays are safe, and patients don't have any risk of radiation. In case of any exposure to radiation, the levels are significantly low, and there is no damage. This is the case with a dental implant x-ray that doesn't involve natural teeth.
According to the American Dental Association, modern x-ray equipment can eliminate unnecessary radiation and allow dentists to focus on the level of radiation patients are exposed to.
There is also protective clothing to keep patients safe and limit any risk of exposure. This ensures that any stray radiation is kept at bay. Therefore, you don't have to worry about the safety of dental x-rays.
Can Pregnant Women Get Dental X-Rays?
A dental x-ray during pregnancy is safe and will not harm the mother or unborn child. However, when performing x-rays on expectant mothers, we take precautionary measures to ensure the safety of the mother and unborn child.
We encourage expectant mothers to come in for regular checks as pregnancy can impact their oral health. For instance, hormonal changes can increase the risk of gum disease or periodontitis, putting the mother's health at risk.
Schedule Your Appointment Today
If you have an oral condition that requires a dental x-ray, our professionals at Palo Alto Oral Health are ready to serve you. Call us today at (650) 321-9693 to schedule your appointment.