At MCHD Dentistry we have some of the most modern and safe methods of taking radiographs that are currently available. Here are a few common questions we get from our patients about having radiographs done. Let us know if there are any other questions we can answer for you!
Why do I need to have a dental x-ray (radiograph)?
When Dr. Carrier or your dental hygienist takes a look in your mouth, they are only seeing about ¾ of your tooth surfaces. Without a dental radiograph it is impossible to make an assessment of the overall health of your teeth. In many cases we are able to better understand the overall health of your gums and bone as well, what we call your periodontium. It is our philosophy at MCHD Dentistry to provide you with the best and most conservative care so we encourage taking radiographs as a new patient and also at about every 12 months, depending on the health status of your mouth. Why wait until something hurts and is very expensive to have it restored when we can see it very early with a radiograph?
Why do I need them every year?
Many things with your oral cavity can change in a year. It is a great resource to be able to go back in time and compare radiographs taken every year to see if something is evolving, getting worse, or is just staying the same. It will help cue us in on the best action to take.
How many different types of radiographs are you going to take?
Here at MCHD Dentistry we take a panoramic and bitewings on all new patients. A panoramic is a great resource that will tell us a lot about your dental history- what teeth have been extracted, what has been restored, and the general health of your temporomandibular joint (TMJ). It is also a good tool for diagnosing many pathologies that may be asymptomatic such as cysts, carotid stenosis, and many others. Bitewing radiographs show us mainly the area between your teeth and the height of the bone that supports the teeth. They will also show us if you have excessive hard deposits (tarter or calculus) on your teeth from lack of cleanings or flossing.
If you have a tooth that is bothering you or are in need of a deep cleaning, we will also take periapical radiographs. Periapical simply means “around the tip of the root”. These radiographs show us the health of the bone and periodontal ligament that support your teeth. These will show if you have an abscess, bone defect, periodontal disease and many other things.
Are they safe?
Dental radiographs are historically very low in radiation doses, especially now that digital radiography has become widely used. Here at MCHD Dentistry we only use digital technology for both our panoramic and intraoral (bitewing and periapical) radiographs that affords for a lower radiation amount and also a much better quality final image. Most radiographs are under the equivalent of radiation exposure of spending the day outside.
Will it hurt?
Having a radiograph taken should not hurt. There are specific methods that we employ to make it the least uncomfortable, and it is our goal to provide you with pain-free radiographs. While it is not the easiest thing to do, we can get past most obstacles using our knowledge and experience.