Dental Checkup : X-rays at Your Dental Appointment
A dental checkup is always more comprehensive when you get a dental X-ray. Teeth cleaning allows your dentist to assess the surfaces of your teeth and gums. With dental X-rays, your dentist can look deeper into areas that the eyes cannot see. If you want to find out more about dental X-rays during your dental check, below are some crucial points to remember.
Reasons for having dental X-rays
Patients usually have these X-rays annually. Yet, if the dentist is monitoring the progress of a patient’s dental treatment or issue, the patient should have an X-ray more often. Several factors influence how frequent a dental X-ray should be. Age, history of periodontitis, current oral condition, symptoms of oral disease, and history of tooth decay are the most common ones.
A new patient should get dental X-rays. That way, the dentist can get a baseline image of the new patient’s oral health during the checkup. This is important if the patient does not have dental X-rays from the previous dentist. A patient who has not seen the dentist for a while should get X-rays, as well. This will update the dentist about the status of the patient’s dental health.
Preparations for dental X-rays
Patients do not need to prepare for X-rays at all. The patient just needs to brush before the dental checkup. For the X-ray, the patient will sit in a chair. The dentist will place a lead vest on the patient’s lap and chest. Then, the dentist will position the machine at the side of the head to get images of the patient’s mouth.
Types of dental X-rays
Dentists use different types of X-rays to see different perspectives of the patient’s mouth during the checkup. One is the bitewing X-ray. The patient will bite down on a piece of paper. This allows the dentist to see the condition of the patient’s dental crowns. Bitewing X-rays help dentists check for interdental cavities.
Occlusal X-rays take the images of all the patient’s teeth at the same time. Here, the patients sit with jaws closed. By doing so, dentists can see the alignment of the bottom and upper teeth during the dental checkup. This X-ray also shows any abnormalities in the palate or the floor of the patient’s mouth.
Then, there is the panoramic X-ray. This method uses a machine that rotates around the patient’s head. The dentist uses this X-ray to plan for dental implants, check for jaw issues, and assess wisdom teeth. There are also extraoral X-rays. Dentists use this type of X-ray to see if there are problems in the patient’s jaw.
After the imaging
Once the dental X-ray is over, the dentist will prepare the images and continue with the dental checkup. If the dentist uses digital X-rays, the images will follow immediately. The dentist will discuss the images with the patient. This is important if there are significant problems that need resolution during the dental checkup.
X-rays complete each dental checkup
Just like flossing and brushing, having dental X-rays is an important part of your dental care. During your checkup, the dentist might recommend dental X-rays to confirm the dental problem. This imaging helps provide the dentist with baseline information about your teeth, gums, and jaws. The data will update your dentist and even prompt dental treatments right away.
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