Dental x-rays are required to aid in thoroughly assessing and diagnosing your dental health and needs. With x-rays your dentist can detect tooth decay that is not seen on clinical examination as well as areas of bone loss and even tooth structure loss. The dentist can see if there are third molars (wisdom teeth) present and it they are impacted as well as advanced periodontal disease. X-rays are also used when planning orthodontic as well as cosmetic treatment. Bitewing X-rays that are taken with your teeth biting together will be taken at least annually or more frequently depending upon individual needs and dental recommendation. A full mouth series of x-rays may often be taken at your initial visit to the practice and usually not again for five years.
DIGITAL X-RAYS: We care about your safety!
Our office will take your x-rays using digital radiography. These x-rays are significantly lower in radiation (up to 80% lower) than the old film x-rays. This latest technology allows us to take high quality pictures of your teeth. Digital x-rays are clear enough that you will be able to better see and understand your dental conditions with the dentist. Additional benefits to digital x-rays are:
- They provide superior diagnostic capabilities
- They can be readily displayed on a large screen, enabling the patient to clearly see their conditions.
- They are more comfortable for the patient
- They are a time saver
- They are better for the environment.
A panoramic x-ray (commonly referred to as Pano) is a full mouth x-ray taken of your face, jaws and teeth. They provide views of areas that cannot be captured with the digital intra-oral (inside your mouth) x-rays. The x-ray is taken with you in a standing position and the machine revolves around your head, creating a wraparound picture. This is an extra-oral x-ray and is often used to aid in the diagnosis of wisdom teeth, fractures, bone loss and joint abnormalities. Panoramic x-rays are also used to view sinus areas and the mandibular nerve (in the lower jaw), often in conjunction with implant procedures.
The panoramic x-ray is:
- Important in diagnosing and treatment planning
- Used to help assess concerns prior to orthodontic treatment
- Safer than intra-oral x-rays as less radiation enters the body.