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Why Does My Dentist Take X-Rays of My Mouth?

August 1, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. Jeremy Jorgenson @ 7:12 pm
Patient at the dentist’s office viewing their dental x-rays.

If you’ve ever suffered a broken bone, you’ve probably gone to have X-rays taken to view the internal damage. This is a standard but important part of the healing process—the X-rays give us access to details that aren’t observable to the naked eye. That said, X-rays have many uses in dentistry as well, and your dentist uses the technology regularly in order to assist them with providing treatment. Here’s more on how dental x-rays are an important and fundamental part of modern dental care.

Why Are Dental X-Rays Important?

X-ray technology is simply incredible—it allows us to see through the soft tissue layers of our body to get a closer, detailed look at our bone structure. It’s also very important in dentistry, as it lets your dentist view oral structures that are normally hidden such as the roots of your teeth, incoming wisdom teeth, and more.

Dental x-rays are also useful for spotting potential problems including:

  • Cavities and tooth decay present in teeth and fillings alike.
  • Hidden cysts or other types of tumors.
  • Jawbone deterioration due to gum disease or osteoporosis.
  • Dental abscesses or infections around the roots of teeth.

How Often Are Dental X-Rays Needed?

Typically, your dentist will want to take X-rays of your mouth during your very first appointment with them. This establishes a rough baseline for your current oral health and gives your dentist a good idea of what’s going on inside your mouth. After that, the frequency of dental X-rays will depend on your individual circumstances and your dentist’s discretion.

If your mouth is relatively healthy, you should only need dental X-rays taken every few years. However, if you’re dealing with an oral health issue like gum disease, tooth decay, or at higher risk for some other oral health concern, your dentist may want to take X-rays of your mouth semi-regularly. A large emphasis of modern dentistry is on prevention—and X-rays make detecting and addressing hidden problems much easier.

Are Dental X-Rays Safe?

Technically, X-rays do involve some radiation—but the levels are very low and considered safe for both adults and children, meaning that you’re not in any true danger (or likely to be given radioactive superpowers). You’ll also be given a leaded apron to wear over your torso, to help prevent any unnecessary radiation exposure to your vital organs (or if you’re pregnant, your baby). Some dentists even use digital X-rays instead of developing them on film, lowering the risk of radiation exposure even further.

Simply put, dental X-rays are a normal part of modern dental care and absolutely nothing you need to worry about! This practice will give your dentist a detailed view of your mouth so they can take care of it accordingly and ensure that your smile remains happy and healthy.

About the Practice

The team at Advanced Dental Care is honored to serve patients and families in the Costa Mesa community. The practice is fortunate to house five skilled specialists: Dr. Jeremy Jorgenson, Dr. Kevin Coppelson, Dr. Amanda Maitino, Dr. Hadi Shbeeb, and Dr. Iris Zhou. Together they combine several decades of experience to provide an elite level of dental care for every patient they treat. If you have any questions about dental X-rays or would like to schedule a visit, you can contact the practice through their website or by phone: (714) 424-9099.