Everything You Should Know About Dental X-Rays Performed By Family Dentists

A dental check-up will help your family dentist evaluate your dental health. Dental X-rays are a critical component of these exams. These X-rays help your dentist to see what the naked eye wouldn't be able to see, such as tumors, abscesses, and decay below your gum line.

Read on to learn more about dental X-rays in this article.

What to Expect

It will take your family dentist a few minutes to perform the X-rays. The dentist will then take any one or more of several types of dental X-rays. These include panoramic X-rays, occlusal X-rays, tomograms, sialography X-rays, and cephalometric projections.

A professional dentist will walk you through each step of the process, whether it is your first time or you have had your dental X-rays taken before. You don't have to do anything yourself. The dentist will ask that you hold still so the machine can take the images.

Is It Safe?

Dental X-rays are safe. The exception lies with pregnant women. You will be exposed to a small dose of radiation during the exam. Additionally, the digital version of dental X-rays that today's family dental care professionals administer uses less radiation than what you'd be exposed to with the traditional type of X-rays that are developed on films.

Before getting started, the dentist will ensure you are well covered with a lead apron which will protect you from radiation. Your family dentist may discuss other diagnostic options if you have anxiety and are worried about the safety of the procedure. 

How Often?

Your family dentist may conduct dental X-rays once a year for adults. If you have no major dental problems, it may be a few years before you need the X-rays. On the other hand, you may need dental X-rays more frequently than annually if you have some dental problems, such as periodontal disease and a history of cavities.

Children and adolescents may need these tests biannually or annually. Part of family dental care for younger patients is observing how well their permanent teeth are developing with the help of dental X-rays.

What Next?

The dentist will review the images once they are ready and go over the results with you. You can expect to discuss treatment options if the images show significant dental problems.

Ask Questions

Have any more questions about dental X-rays? Your family dentist will be more than happy to answer them for you. Indeed, going through any concerns you may have can help calm down any anxieties about the procedure.

For more information about general dentistry, contact a local dental office.