When you visit a dentist’s office, your dentist may use several diagnostic tools to assess your oral health. Dental X-rays work because when X-rays pass through the mouth, bones and teeth absorb less of the rays, making them appear more visible on the X-ray image. X-ray images can help your dentist evaluate the condition of your teeth.
What Are Dental X-Rays Used For?
Dental X-rays help dentists examine your teeth, roots and mouth, including areas not visible with a visual examination. X-rays can be used to:
- Find tooth decay and infections: An X-ray can detect decay between teeth or under old crowns and fillings. X-rays can also help detect gingivitis and other forms of infection and bone loss from gum disease.
- Examine impacted teeth: An X-ray can determine if your wisdom teeth are growing into nearby teeth or coming in crooked. This visual can help a dentist recommend appropriate treatment.
- Evaluate treatment after an injury or surgery: A dentist can monitor a patient’s recovery by seeing how the teeth are healing after oral surgery or injury.
- Decide on orthodontic treatment: X-rays can help dentists see the full scope of overcrowding or other potential problems, which can help them evaluate whether a patient is a good candidate for orthodontic treatment.
Are Dental X-Rays Safe?
Many patients understand radiation exposure and want to know the risks associated with X-rays. Dental X-rays are considered safe, according to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. A dental X-ray only results in 0.005 mSv of exposure, which is far less than a cross-Canada airplane flight or the natural radiation around us. This exposure is far below the recommended 1 mSv annual limit for Canadians.
Your dentist will practice thorough dental X-ray safety to minimize your exposure and protect your health. X-rays are essential to proper dental care and can identify many issues that would otherwise go unnoticed.
Contact Us for Safe Dental X-Rays
The dentists at Dental Choice take care to adapt imaging tests for every patient. We only use X-rays when necessary. We use a fast image receptor only on the treatment area to further limit exposure, using shields to safeguard the thyroid and other sensitive areas. Our staff is also always happy to review X-ray safety with patients.