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Dental X-Rays

Your dentist can tell a lot about your dental health through oral exams, but they can get an even clearer picture with dental x-rays. While cleanings and checkups allow your dentist to inspect the exterior of your teeth and gums, dental x-rays allow them to look even deeper into the structure of your teeth, jaw, and mouth, including the dental pulp, the tooth roots, and the bones of your face.

Dental X-rays from Bright Now! Dental can help our dentists and orthodontists diagnose an array of dental problems like cavities, cracked or damaged teeth, bone deterioration, overcrowding, and teeth movement so that you can receive the best possible treatment. They’re also a fast and affordable way to help keep minor dental health problems from turning into bigger ones.

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When should you get dental x-rays?

X-rays are almost always taken at your first visit to a new dentist so they can get a good picture of your overall oral health, and then at least once a year after that, so they can evaluate your dental health over time.

There are other situations when your dentist may advise additional x-rays, primarily to diagnose certain conditions, such as:

  • Cavities
  • Tracking tooth movement over time
  • Overcrowding
  • Toothaches
  • Infected tooth roots

Problems like these show up well on x-rays because they affect the teeth and teeth enamel, and it’s the calcium in teeth and bones that absorb the small doses of radiation well enough to appear bright white in contrast to the x-ray film. Other tissue, such as muscles and organs, can show up on x-rays as well, but not as brightly as bones.

How are dental x-rays taken?

X-rays are a fairly simple and straightforward process that usually only takes a few minutes. You’ll sit in a chair–it may even be the same chair you’ll be receiving treatment in–and given a lead apron to wear. The hygienist or x-ray technician performing the x-ray may give you a film or other small device to bite down on, then point the x-ray camera at different areas of your jaw and cheeks to capture various images of your teeth. 

What are the different types of dental x-rays?

X-rays allow dentists and orthodontists to quickly assess your current dental health condition and identify any problems without invasive procedures. The type of x-ray taken will depend on what kind of information or image the doctor is needing.

Some common types of dental x-rays are: 

  • Bitewing – Bitewing x-rays allow your dentist to spot any cavities and see how your teeth align.
  • Periapical – This x-ray “zooms in” on two teeth, highlighting both teeth from the tops of the teeth to the bottom of the roots and everything in between.
  • Panoramic –Panoramic x-rays are taken with a special camera that moves completely around your head in a 360-circle and are good for identifying wisdom teeth movement or structural problems in the jaw.
  • Occlusal – For a flat map view of your teeth, your dentist may opt for this type of x-ray to quickly get a snapshot of your dental health.

How does my dentist use x-rays?

Your dentist will use the x-rays taken to assess your overall oral health, make any decisions about necessary treatment, and make recommendations for treatment or procedures you may need in the future. Especially when reviewed over time, x-rays can help your dentist provide better, more personalized care that is specific to your unique dental trends, habits, or concerns. This helps ensure you’re getting the best and most effective care possible at each and every visit.

Visit Bright Now! Dental Today for Your Dental X-rays

Dental x-rays are just one of the many services offered at Bright Now! Dental and are an important part of comprehensive dental care. We include dental x-rays as part of our routine exams–both of which are free with membership in our OneSmile Dental Plan–and we can perform them right in our office. 

If you’re due for dental x-rays–or even if you’ve never had them before–schedule an appointment today at the Bright Now! Dental location nearest you. Dental x-rays are a fast, easy, and affordable way to get the most out of your dental care and keep your smile healthy for a lifetime.