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What Are Dental X-Rays

When we consider visiting the dentist, the first thing on our minds is the teeth that are easily visible in the mirror. While they are definitely central to the work performed by your dentist, they aren’t the only thing that falls into their purview. Dentists aren’t just tooth specialists; they specialize in the health of your entire mouth. This includes the tongue, cheeks, jawbone, gums, palate, and of course, your teeth. Many of the structures that they’re responsible for caring for are covered by soft tissue, and they need a way to see these. Dental X-Rays are the most common imaging tool used to provide that view.

What Are Dental X-Rays?

The majority of dental patients have experienced at least one dental x-ray in our lives, and if you see your dentist regularly, it’s likely that you’ve had many. Dental x-rays are an imaging technique that utilizes x-ray technology to let the dentist get a peek beneath the soft-tissue of the oral cavity at the bony structures beneath. This includes the jawbone and teeth. By observing these bony tissues, they’re able to determine if they are experiencing damage, how your teeth are developing, and whether there’s anything to be concerned about under the surface. While abscesses often have visual indicators, the extent of them is often impossible to determine without an x-ray.

What Issues Can X-Rays Show?

The most important role that x-rays play in your treatment is the identification and diagnosis of various dental health concerns. Among the things that x-rays can reveal are:

  • Decay between the teeth or below the gumline
  • Decay occurring beneath dental restorations such as fillings or crowns
  • Degrading bone in the jaw
  • Changes in the root canal or jawbone caused by infection
  • Tumors and cysts
  • and much more

There are even more things that these x-rays can reveal in child patients, including the state of their developing oral structures.

Are Dental X-Rays Safe?

While many people have concerns about being exposed to radiation as part of receiving x-ray imaging, the fact of the matter is there’s nothing to fear. The amount of radiation that you are exposed to during an x-ray procedure is less than that you’ll receive walking to the car from your house on a sunny day. While current x-ray technology is already safe, recent advances have reduced the necessary amount of radiation used in a procedure even further. This means that if you’re being treated with modern x-ray equipment, your exposure is almost non-existent. The lead vests and other protective gear that you may be given during an x-ray is there as an overabundance of caution.

If you’ve been fretting about dental x-rays and want to know more about how they can help you get better dental care, reach out to Torrance Dental Associates today. Dr. Alireza Movassaghi works with patients to help educate them on the care they receive and the tools used in providing it. You can call us today to schedule an appointment at our offices in Alameda, CA.

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