Wednesday, February 10, 2016

X-Rays and the Dentist

If you've been to the dentist recently, then you have most likely had an X-ray done. While they aren't taken during every visit, they are very helpful for establishing a patient's oral health as well as predicting which areas need to be focused on. Today we are going to give a brief overview of what exactly they are and why they are necessary. 

1.  What are X-rays? 
In 1895, Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen was working in his lab conducting research when he accidentally discovered X-rays. Since then, science and technology have evolved to use X-rays in a beneficial manner. During an exam, a patient is exposed to short bursts of radiation. This allows the doctor to view teeth in a more thorough manner than an examination. Some people are nervous about getting X-rays, however, it is important to note that the doses of radiation are too minute to cause adverse effects. In fact, during a dental X-ray, patients are only exposed to the same amount of radiation as a short airplane flight

2. Do I have to get X-rays?
Whether you need to look for fractures in bone or simply to check in on teeth, X-rays are the best way to do it. Dentists rely on this technology because it allows them to perceive problems before the naked eye is able see them. Some examples include, but are not limited to: periodontal disease, bone infections, hard to see tooth decay, and even some tumors. X-rays are an important part of preventative care and are nothing to be afraid of.

3. What if I'm pregnant?
This is always a great question to ask! It is best to consult your physician before exposing yourself to small quantities of radiation. Informing your dentist of this is an absolute necessity, but there is no need to forgo X-rays altogether. With pregnant patients, a thyroid collar and a leaded apron are used to prevent radiation exposure.

Source: Mouth Healthy by the American Dental Association

If you have questions concerning X-rays and the health of your teeth, feel free to call one of our three offices to schedule a consult. We are here to address any of your concerns and to provide you with a stress-free dental experience.

North location on Hymeadow Drive: (512) 250-5012  
Central location on Jollyville Road: (512) 346-8424  
South location on William Cannon Drive: (512) 445-5811


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