If you regularly visit your dentist for cleanings and maintenance, chances are they have asked you for x-rays. Dental x-rays are a common part of the dental care routine, done to diagnose and prevent issues that could cause significant oral pain. Oral x-rays done by your Tampa dentist are not like your typical body x-rays, and if you’ve never experienced them before, you may be asking yourself how this happens and what to expect.
There are two types of x-rays, depending on what the dentist needs to view in your mouth. The first type is the intraoral which is taken from inside your mouth; the second is an extraoral, taken outside of your mouth. Though both may be conducted, the intraoral is most common, as it will show your Tampa dentist things like cavities, roots, and incoming teeth. These are great to prevent incoming teeth from causing teeth to move or from a potential cavity from forming and needing to be filled.
Many fear x-rays due to radiation exposure, but oral x-rays pose little risk to you or your children. Dentists will use a lead apron to cover the body to prevent any exposure, and equipment is state-of-the-art and keeps the x-rays focused on the exact area needed to be viewed. Once you’ve been protected from the risk of radiation, the dentist will insert a plastic piece into your mouth that will act as the film. When you bite down on this piece, the dentist snaps the x-ray photo of the selected area and repeats the process until all areas have been viewed. This pain-free process takes just minutes to complete, and the x-rays are typically ready to be viewed before the end of your cleaning appointment.
Taking oral x-rays with your Tampa dentist can help prevent a myriad of oral problems from forming. Maintaining daily oral hygiene at home, combined with regular cleanings and dentist-recommended x-rays will keep your teeth and mouth in good health. Questions about dental x-rays? Call North Pointe Dental today!