Regular Dental X-rays … Who Needs Them?

Source:  Regular Dental X-rays … Who Needs Them?    Tag:  panoramic xrays
Dental x-rays are pictures of the internal structure of your teeth and bones. X-rays are a form of energy that moves in waves. When theses waves travel through solid objects such as your teeth, the waves are either absorbed or pass through the object.  As our teeth and the surrounding hard tissues are dense, so they absorb x-rays. Conversely because the gums are less dense, so x-rays continue to pass through them. This phenomenon results in such pictures that allows your dentist interpret the changes into several different diagnosis, which could help preventing any future dental problems such as tooth decay , cysts, abscesses, bone loss through gum disease, trauma, fractures, Bone infections or abnormalities, and detection of impacted teeth.
There are currently three different types of dental x-rays commonly used for an oral examination, the frequency and the indication of these dental radiographs depends on the individual circumstances.



  • Bitewing X-rays (BW.s) show the upper and lower back teeth in a single view. These X-rays are used to check for tooth decay between the teeth and also show the degree of horizontal bone loss when severe gum disease is present.

  • Periapical X-rays (PA.s) show the entire tooth, crown to root ratio, and the bones that support the tooth. These X-rays are used to find dental problems below the gum line or in the jaw, such as tooth impaction or dental abscesses and cysts.

  • Panoramic X-rays (OPG) show a wide view of the jaws, teeth, maxillary sinuses, nasal area, and tmj,s. These X-rays are useful for detection of impacted teeth, bone abnormalities, cysts, tumors, infections, and fractures.

 X-rays are a vital aspect to dental diagnosis and treatment. Many potentially injurious conditions would go undetected where it can be prevented by the regular utilization of X-rays. Modern X-ray film, equipment and technique make dental radiation safe and effective tools to insure optimal dental health.

Mentioning the word radiation, usually conjures up an unpleasant image for most people. As we associate it with, nasty illnesses such as cancer, where as in reality radiation used in dental X-rays is so low that there is very little chance of problems from having the X-rays.  

Advances in x-ray equipment, especially digital film technology, allow your Preston cosmetic dentist to get a good x-ray image using much less radiation than what was previously required. A typical dental x-ray image exposes you to only about 2 or 3 mm ( rem is the unit used to the measure radiation). Some other typical sources that may expose you to radiation include smoke detectors, living in a brick house instead of a wood one, cooking with natural gas and even from flying in an airplane. Obviously, you wouldn't refuse to fly on an airplane, live in a brick house, or live without smoke detectors because of the small amount of radiation you receive from these activities. Since your dentist gains valuable information from x-rays to aid you in keeping healthy teeth, it is also not in your best interest to refuse dental x-rays because of the very small amount of radiation you receive from them.

The new dental technology involving dental X-rays offers the advantage of an 80 percent reduction in radiation, no need for film or processing chemicals, production of a nearly instantaneously image, and the ability to use colour contrast in the image.