Our teeth go much further down than we see. While we can open wide and see the tops of each and every tooth, the roots of our teeth are invisible to the naked eye. These roots can only be inspected with the help of an x-ray. While we may see healthy-looking teeth on the outside, it’s equally important for your dentist to be able to examine the root to check for any decay or other problems.
The x-ray isn’t just for looking at the roots of teeth, but for inspecting the entire jaw. The x-ray can show everything from the teeth to the jawbone, and the soft tissue around the jawbone. This helps to resolve issues with alignment, tense jaws, or detect problems like disease in the jaw. With the use of the x-ray, dentists are able to provide comprehensive oral care.
Dental x-rays are typically only done once a year, perhaps every two years. This timeframe is sufficient to allow your dentist to find any problems and address them while monitoring and preventing any potential issues as well. They are quick, generally brief, and we can view the results within minutes of completing the x-ray.
As with all x-rays, dental x-rays require the use of radiation, but they are considered safe for both children and adults as the quantity of radiation is minimal. The exposure is short and brief, and unless a mother is pregnant or nursing, there is no concern regarding the x-ray.
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