Dental x-ray images provide your dentist with a range of useful information about your gums and teeth. Using this equipment the dentist is able to spot infections and abscesses, and even impacted wisdom teeth. It is a very useful diagnostic tool which takes skill to interpret the images. For example, some fillings on an x-ray will appear dark, but others may appear white. This is all connected with what material the fillings are made of. Click on this link to learn more about dental equipment.
Is dental x-ray equipment safe?
Many people have concerns about radiation and the effects it may have. In fact, the amount of radiation in a dental x-ray is incredibly small and does not differ radically from the amount of background radiation we all face in our normal lives. Most notably from TV sets.
The only exception would be those women who are pregnant, for fear of the amounts of radiation affecting the unborn child. Despite this dentists may sometimes carry out x-rays safely by providing the woman with a protective lead apron and collar. This is sometimes necessary because pregnant women are on a higher scale of risk of gum disease.
How do x-rays work?
When an x-ray passes through the jaw and mouth, the bones and teeth absorb a greater proportion of the x-rays than soft tissue does. Because of this the places where infection and tooth decay are present look darker as they will not have absorbed as much of the x-rays as the harder bone and tooth materials.
Are all x-rays the same?
No, there are two forms of dental x-ray intraoral, where the x-ray film is placed inside the mouth, and extraoral, where the film is located outside the mouth. The most frequent of these will be the intraoral type. There are various special types of both these main variations.
If you have concerns about dental x-rays, please do not let them stop you from seeking treatment. Your dentist will be happy to discuss the subject with you and provide reassurance or alternative dental care plans.