Why does my dentist take dental X-rays?
Dental X-rays make it possible for your dentist to diagnose many different factors of your oral health. Perhaps the most common use for dental X-rays is to examine the mouth for tiny pits of decay where the naked eye could not otherwise see. Radiography can reveal decay underneath a filling, inside the root canal, or between teeth.
Dental X-rays also expose bone loss in the case of periodontal disease where the jawbone is at risk of deterioration. For children, oral X-rays can help the dentist see developmental issues early, including impacted permanent teeth. Additionally, candidacy for dental implants, dentures, and other cosmetic procedures can be determined by radiography.
Are dental X-rays safe?
Radiography for dentistry has made several advancements in techniques and technology to offer patients increased safety with dental X-rays. For instance, dental X-rays expose as little radiation as possible with a tiny, localized beam less than three inches in diameter. Dental X-ray machinery has also been developed to release the least amount of stray radiation possible. In fact, lead aprons which are used to protect patients from stray radiation are mostly beneficial for patient peace of mind since the stray radiation from modern dental X-rays is almost non-existent.
Faster film and film holders help make the process more accurate and quicker so that there are fewer repeat X-rays. Other safety measures include state guidelines which require the dental practice to have machinery inspected and the dentist’s operating license renewed every two years. At Lake Forest Dental Arts, we use digital radiography which offers 80 percent less radiation than traditional X-rays.
How often should I get a dental X-ray?
Our Chicago dentist usually takes X-ray images of your teeth annually to ensure your optimal oral health. In other instances, X-rays may be used more frequently for diagnosis, procedure candidacy, and checking for progression of disease or cancer. For example, if you smoke or have a history of periodontal disease, you are more susceptible to jawbone deterioration. Dr. Fondriest may suggest more frequent dental X-rays to determine the level of bone loss and which treatments can help restore healthy bone. For patients who have had restorative dentistry like fillings or crowns, periodic checks for further decay underneath the restoration may be necessary.
Chicago dentist, Dr. James Fondriest is prepared to help diagnose and treat your dental problems with the accuracy of digital radiography and the compassion of a human touch. Contact our friendly office staff at 847-234-0517 to schedule an appointment for a dental checkup or cleaning. We serve patients from Grayslake, Barrington, Lake Forest, Winnetka, Highland Park, North Shore, and Chicago.