why does my dentist take xraysFairport, Pittsford, Rochester NY

Dental X-rays are commonly used for diagnostics, to develop treatment plans, and to evaluate the growth and development of the teeth and jaws. Patients often wonder why the dentist takes X-rays, and whether it is safe. Here are the answers to some common questions regarding dental X-rays.

Why do I need X-rays at the dentist?

When problems with your oral health arise, you may not even feel any pain at first. If you wait until you feel pain before seeking treatment, you are likely going to need extensive repairs that tend to cost more. Since dental X-rays provide the dentist with a view of areas that cannot be seen by the eye, problems can be found in the early stages.
The dentist may also need to see areas of your mouth that are under the gum line such as the roots of your teeth, jaw bone, and surrounding structures otherwise not seen by the eye. X-rays also show early signs of tooth decay that can develop between teeth, another area that cannot be seen with a visual examination.
X-rays are also helpful in determining a treatment plan. It is important for the dentist to see the whole picture before performing procedures that could otherwise be compromised later on by an oral health concern. This also minimizes the chances of repeat treatments or the waste of time and money.

Is it safe for my child to get dental X-rays?

Yes, dental X-rays are safe even for children. In fact, X-rays are especially important for children so that the dentist can monitor their growth and development. As a child grows, a lot can change with their teeth and jaws that can affect their looks, bite, and even airway health. Being able to monitor a child’s growth and development, as well as detecting cavities, is essential to their overall health.

What are the risks of dental X-rays?

The question should really be, what are the risks of not getting dental X-rays? Dental X-rays are often taken in digital form nowadays, which means significantly less radiation than traditional forms of X-rays. Although minimal amounts of radiation are emitted from digital X-rays, ignoring structures of the mouth that cannot be seen by the eye mean that you could be putting your health at risk. 

Who should not get dental X-rays?

Everyone should get X-rays taken during their routine dental cleanings and examinations as means to document any changes in their oral health and to identify any concerns that require treatment. Be sure that you share your entire medical history with the dentist and dental care team prior to receiving any X-rays or even any treatment. Certain conditions such as pregnancy may preclude a patient from getting routine X-rays, although the dentist may find that an X-ray is necessary for an emergency situation.
The dentist will only recommend X-rays when it is necessary. If you have concerns about getting dental X-rays, you should discuss these with your dentist.
To schedule an appointment, contact Pittsford Dental Excellence Center today at (585) 248-2575. We welcome patients of Fairport, Pittsford, and the greater Rochester NY area.

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