"Just give me the checkup and the clean, I don't need the x-rays"
Some patients question if they need to have dental x-rays - thinking of them as an expensive part of their dental checkup rather than an essential part of having a healthy smile.
You may be surprised to know that x-rays are a simple way of detecting dental problems while they are small rather than waiting until they are large and more painful problems.
When I am examining your teeth during your checkup I can see the top, front and back of your teeth. The sides of your teeth are obscured by your other teeth.
Dental x-rays allow me to examine those surfaces between your teeth and also the rest of the tooth that is below the gumline.
Current guidelines recommend that dental x-rays are taken every 2 years to help detect any small problems with your teeth while they are still small.
These x-rays are called Bitewings - one bitewing x-ray is taken on each side of your mouth
Dental x-rays allow us to detect areas of decay in areas that are not easily visible such as between the teeth.
Decay can also occur under existing fillings, crowns or bridges. This type of decay is more likely to cause toothache as it occurs closer to the nerve of your tooth. These pockets of decay can only be detected using x-rays.
These x-rays are also used for examining any loss of bone between your teeth.
OPG x-rays or full mouth x-rays are recommended every 5 years.
OPG's are taken by our x-ray unit that spins around your head and takes a panoramic picture of all of your teeth and your jaw.
OPG's allow us to identify extra or missing teeth, malformed teeth, displaced teeth, teeth that are out of position or teeth that are impacted such as wisdom teeth
OPG's will also detect the severity of gum disease and of any bone loss which will lead to the loss of teeth in the long term.
X-rays also allow us to see under the gum line to identify abscesses and other infections and even some types of tumors
We use OPG's in the planning of orthodontics and are essential for the extraction of teeth
Are Dental x-rays dangerous?
Dental x-rays do involve a small dose of radiation - but the dose is very small. It is about equivalent to the dose of solar radiation you would receive from a short flight (Brisbane to Sydney)
We only take dental x-rays when they are necessary.
If you have dental x-rays from a previous dentist we can arrange to have those x-rays forwarded to us to use instead of taking more x-rays within the 2 or 5 year time period
If you have any questions regarding dental x-rays please give us a call or send us a message.