Important Facts About Dental X-Rays

Dental X Rays San Antonio, TX

Dental x-rays are used to evaluate the inner layers of your teeth and other parts of your mouth the naked eye cannot see, like teeth roots. These tests are often included as part of comprehensive dental exams, and a dentist might request one during a routine check-up if they notice anything that leads them to suspect something might be going on underneath the gums.

Interesting facts about dental x-rays

Dental x-rays are completely safe, and dentists take extra steps to protect patients from radiation. X-rays do produce radiation, but so do many other health and dental tools. Even household items like TVs emit radiation. Every one of us has been exposed to radiation even before we were born. It can have harmful effects on the body, but only in excessive doses. It can also have a therapeutic effect when administered in small doses and it is used to treat health issues like cancer and hyperthyroidism.

The amount of radiation x-rays expose a person to is less than 0.1% of the radiation they are exposed to simply going about their daily activities. Other important things you should know about radiation include:

  • Cooking your meals with natural gas produces more radiation than dental x-rays
  • X-rays have been used in dentistry since 1895 and they have gotten safer over the years. Modern dental x-ray machines emit only a small fraction of the radiation produced by older equipment
  • X-rays allow dentists to evaluate what is going on underneath the patient’s gums and inside their teeth. This allows a dentist to accurately diagnose common dental issues like gum disease and tooth decay
  • Modern x-ray machines create digital images which make it easier for dentists and their staff to share images with other healthcare providers and patients

The process

X-rays are typically performed with the patient sitting upright in a dental chair. A dentist or an assistant places a lead apron over the patient’s chest to protect the area from radiation. A thyroid collar might be wrapped around the patient’s next to cover that area.

An x-ray sensor is then placed in the part of the patient’s mouth being examined. Most people do not find having the sensor in their mouth uncomfortable. However, people with smaller mouths or strong gag reflexes are more likely to be bothered by having to keep an x-ray sensor in their mouths. Patients should not feel any pain when getting dental x-rays.

The four types of x-ray sensors commonly used in dentistry include:

  • Bitewing x-rays: These are used to check bone structures that support teeth and to detect cavities. They are one of the most used types of dental x-rays
  • Periapical x-rays: These are used to take a complete picture of a tooth from its root to the top of its crown. It is used to detect issues like deep decay or abscesses
  • Occlusal x-rays: These are used to examine the floor or roof of a patient’s mouth
  • Panoramic x-rays: These are a detailed type of x-rays that are performed before serious procedures like oral surgery or preparing a patient for orthodontic

X-rays are a huge part of detecting dental issues early

Dental x-rays allow your dentist to see the full picture regarding your dental health. Call or stop by our San Antonio clinic to schedule a consultation with our dentist.

Request an appointment here: or call All Smiles Dental Center at (210) 714-7429 for an appointment in our San Antonio office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Dental X-Rays in San Antonio, TX.

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