X-rays are a vital component of how we diagnose and treat our patients. Because there is only so much we can see with the naked eye, we rely on x-rays to show us problems within or between your teeth that may have gone undiagnosed otherwise.
We typically take 2 different types of X-rays. “Bitewings” are taken once a year during a cleaning visit. These x-rays show us the areas between your teeth, which is very important as this is the most common place for cavities to develop.
Another type of x-ray, taken less frequently, is a panoramic x-ray. This shows us your entire jaw, all of your teeth, and the bony structures from your chin to just above your eyes. From this we can look for any other types of abnormalities that may exist in bone, sinuses, and many other places that cannot be seen on bitewings.
In addition, our office utilizes a 3D Cone Beam, the most innovative technology available today for imaging all parts of the head and neck, not just teeth and bones. This technology allows us to view soft tissues, nerves, and much more. These types of images are of particular use when planning implants.
Many people have concerns about the radiation exposure received when x-rays are taken. On average, you are exposed to about 620 million “millirems” of radiation each year simply from the environment here on Earth, as well as from the sun. A single dental x-ray is about 1.5 mrem, accounting for 0.00000024% of your yearly radiation dose. At our practice, we take every precaution to avoid the scatter of radiation to other parts of the body. X-rays in our office are extremely safe and invaluable in helping us keep your teeth healthy.