Preventive Dental Care
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One of a dentist’s most helpful preventative dental care tools is the dental X-ray. The professional staff at Brentwood Dental Spa in Los Angeles, California are experts in using X-rays as a diagnostic tool as they work toward making your mouth healthier.
The following paragraphs outline the procedures, benefits, and types of X-rays you can expect to encounter in your search for preventative dental care.
Brentwood Dental Spa: X-rays Explained
Dental X-rays are radiographs that show images of your teeth from the inside and the outside. The dentist uses X-rays to determine what kind of dental treatments you need to bring your mouth, teeth, and gums into healthy alignment.
X-rays are created using low-level radiation. The American Dental Association recommends that healthy adults receive a set of checkup bitewings once a year and a full-mouth set once every three years.
X-ray Procedures Are Simple Enough
For the most part, X-rays are easy for the patient. At the most, you will have to wear a heavy, lead vest across your chest and lap to avoid radiation to other parts of the body. Many dentists today use digital X-rays. Instead of film between your teeth, the dental technician places a sensor in the mouth and aims the machine at your face. The sensor will capture the image which is then digitally preserved.
The procedure is painless but very important. X-rays can determine infections at the root, find cavities, check the health of the bone, look for developing teeth, and generally watch the health of teeth and jawbones.
Surprise: Who Knew There’s More Than One Kind of X-ray?
Most commonly, X-rays are of a type known as intraoral X-rays. These X-rays are the ones that show details like cavities and developing teeth, etc. Within the intraoral X-ray category, there are several types of X-rays:
Bitewing X-rays show the top and bottom teeth in one section of your mouth. Each bitewing shows the teeth from the crown down to the bone. Bitewing X-rays show decay in the teeth and gum disease-caused changes in bone density. They can help the dentist find the perfect fit for crown restorations.
Periapical X-rays show the tooth from the crown down to the bone beyond the root. The periapical X-ray shows all the teeth in both the upper and lower jaw in a particular section of the jaw. Periapical X-rays help the dentist find root structure and bone structure abnormalities.
This type of X-ray shows the development and placement of teeth and the entire arch of the teeth in the upper or lower jaw. This type of X-ray helps the dentist look for tumors, bone loss, dental abscesses, and salivary duct blockages.
Full-mouth X-rays are usually taken when you are a new patient and are recommended once every 3 years. The images become the baseline for the health of your mouth. Full-mouth X-rays consist of both bitewing and periapical X-rays and appear as a series of individual images. The dentist may order full-mouth X-rays if you are suspected to have a jaw cyst or a tumor. The dentist also uses them to assist in root canals, extractions, and the treatment of gum disease.
Panoramic X-ray/3D Imaging
This type of X-ray is in the category known as extraoral imaging.Panoramic X-rays show the entire mouth area, both upper and lower jaws, in one single X-ray. Panoramic X-rays help the dentist evaluate emerging teeth, check the positions of fully emerged teeth, show impacted teeth, and even find tumors. 3D-imaging is an advanced technology that allows the dentist to capture the images in 10 seconds of the teeth and support structures in the face area.
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Your Next Step
Dentists recommend that patients should have X-rays taken periodically. Dentists recommend that patients should have X-rays taken periodically. We invite you to contact us today to schedule an appointment for a consultation with one of our dental experts at the Brentwood Dental Spa in Los Angeles, California. Your first dental appointment will most likely include X-rays. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you stay orally healthy.
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