This is a topic that is well discussed with patients in every dental office. Dental radiographs (commonly called x-rays) are useful diagnostic tools that help dentists detect dental problems during an exam. Radiographs are taken to assess ones cavity, fracture, and gum disease risk. People who often get caries (cavities) require x-rays more frequently in order to identify, prevent, and lower a patients risk for dental issues.
If you have not had a full mouth X-ray series (FMX) within the last 5 years, a new set should be taken in order to properly diagnose your gum, bone, and smile. These radiographs will act as a baseline to compare any changes that may occur later with your teeth. If you have taken an FMX recently, you should request a copy if transferring to a new dentist.
Dental X-rays are safe. In dentistry, only low levels of radiation exposure are needed to diagnose disease and significantly minimize the risk of potentially harmful disease processes. Dental X-ray equipment and techniques are specifically designed to limit the body's exposure to radiation to As Low As Reasonable Achievable. The apron that your dentist provides prevents radiation exposure to the abdomen and the thyroid. The use of a leaded apron is recommended for anyone requiring dental x-rays.
If you are pregnant, please inform your dentist of any dental concerns. During your pregnancy, X-rays are taken to address an urgent dental issue. Every means will be taken to protect you and your baby from radiation exposure. In special situations, a set of full mouth x-rays should be taken to treat severe existing dental problems that would otherwise compromise the health of your child during pregnancy.
Dr. Hyatt’s Dental Corner
As your family advocate for dental care we would like to provide you with some tips on how to save your money and have a beautiful smile.