Patients often wonder about the safety of dental x-rays and the role they play during a dental checkup. Dental x-rays are a vital part of general dentistry in Thunder Bay and help our dentists at Current River Dental understand and monitor the condition of your oral health.
Why Are Dental X-Rays Important?
An exam of the oral cavity using radiographic imaging is essential in diagnosing and treating oral health conditions. Through dental x-rays, our dentist near you can discover problems that are not visible to the naked eye during physical examinations.
Why Use Dental X-Rays?
X-rays take photos of areas of the mouth that our dentist in Thunder Bay is unable to see. The images are possible because hard tissues such as bones and teeth absorb radiation better than soft tissues, producing an image that differentiates these tissues. The use of x-rays means that our dentist can see cases of tooth decay, bone loss, cracks, and other conditions that are hidden beneath the gum line.
Who Can Get Dental X-Rays?
If you are a new patient at Current River Dental, our dentist will require that you get x-rays taken so that they can get a deep understanding of your oral health. After this, any further imaging can be compared to the original so that our dentist can track any changes in your bone structure. This means that your dentist will determine when the use of x-rays is necessary, and you may not require them on every dental visit.
Children often require more x-rays because their teeth and jaws are still developing, especially if they have had cavities.
How Safe Are X-Rays?
Some patients tend to be reluctant about getting x-rays regardless of their dentist’s recommendations, which can prove problematic. Refusing to get an x-ray for a dental procedure can result in severe oral health complications down the line that could have been prevented through early detection from x-rays.
Dental x-rays are considered to be very safe because the level of radiation that they produce is only about 1/23 of the radiation we get from nature each year. Recent advancements in x-ray technology have also helped significantly reduce the amount and time that patients are exposed to radiation.
What You Need to Know
If you are pregnant, you must inform our dentist before they proceed with the scan. If you have severe dental disease or infection while pregnant, refusing to treat it could be more dangerous to your infant than exposure to an x-ray. Our dentist will exercise caution in these circumstances to ensure that both mother and child are protected.
The level of radiation you are exposed to may be low, but it is still important to use the appropriate level of caution and safety measures to reduce exposure. The radiation from our x-ray device will be targeted at your mouth, and your dentist will provide you with a lead apron to shield other vulnerable areas of your body such as your thyroid, chest, and stomach. Rest assured that our dentist has the training and certification required to safely take these scans, and our x-ray equipment is inspected regularly.
X-rays are a vital part of general dentistry near you, and if our dentist suggests that you get an x-ray during your visit at Current River Dental, you can trust that it is for your benefit.