The reasons for taking an x-ray of your teeth
Although a tooth may look healthy on the outside, tooth decay can often be present under the enamel. An x-ray can be used to find internal decay in a tooth, and also to detect infections in the root, missing bone around the teeth, and even problems in between teeth or under fillings. X-rays can also be used to detect the growth of adult teeth in children, and the condition of wisdom teeth in adults.
X-rays help your dentist to find problems early on, so that they can be treated before they get worse. Early treatment usually costs a lot less as well.
At Windmill Dental Practice, we use digital x-ray machines, which are faster, reduce exposure to radiation, and are kinder to the environment.
When you should have an X-ray
We generally suggest that a new patient has x-rays, unless they have had x-rays taken quite recently by their previous dentist. By taking x-rays when a patient first visits the practice, and then at regular intervals of 6-24 months (depending on their age, dental history and health), we can closely monitor their dental health, spotting any hidden problems and treating them early.
Types of X-ray
There are several different types of x-ray. Some show just one or two teeth, while others can be used to look at larger areas of the mouth. Usually, only a small x-ray will be required, to check the condition of the teeth, roots, and gums.
If the dentist needs to look at a bigger area, such as the upper or lower jaw, or a particular side of the mouth, a larger type of x-ray will be used. The largest type, known as panormaic x-rays, are used to take images of the entire mouth and the bone structure which supports the teeth.
X-rays do produce very small amounts of radiation, and the modern x-ray equipment and techniques we use are designed to keep any health risks to a minimum. We will only take x-rays when we feel it is essential. Please let us know if you are pregnant or have any other concerns, so that we can take extra care and if possible avoid taking x-rays altogether.