Tomike and her mum were in the dental office complaining of Tomike’s teeth ‘coming out’ behind her baby teeth! The Dentist asked for some dental X-rays.
Should you refuse dental X-rays?
Dental X-rays are images of your teeth used by the dentist to evaluate your oral health. They are used with low levels of radiation to capture images of the teeth and help to identify problems like tooth decay and impacted teeth early before much damage is done.
Dental X-rays may seem complex, but they’re actually very common tools that are just as important as your teeth cleanings. Remember, you can’t treat what you don’t see or detect!
What Problems Can Dental X-Rays Detect?
In adults and Children, X-rays are used to:
- Show areas of decay that may not be visible with visual examination, especially areas of decay between teeth.
- Identify decay occurring beneath an existing filling.
- Reveal bone loss that accompanies gum disease.
- Determine whether the teeth are infected
- Identify bone diseases
- Monitor mouth and teeth injuries
- Monitoring healing and recovery after a mouth injury
- Reveal changes in the bone or in the root canal resulting from infection.
- Assist in diagnosis and preparation for tooth implants, braces, dentures, or other dental procedures.
- Reveal an abscess or infection at the root of a tooth or between the gum and a tooth
- Check for the development of wisdom teeth or other teeth and identify if the teeth are impacted (unable to emerge through the bone and or gums).
- Find out whether there are missing teeth or extra teeth that may cause problems.
- Reveal other developmental abnormalities, such as cysts and some types of tumours/cancers.
In children, dental X-rays are used to:
- Determine if there is enough space in the mouth to fit all incoming teeth.
- Check whether your child’s teeth are erupting (coming into the mouth) properly to prevent the use or to commence phase 1 orthodontic treatment( braces)
- Determine if primary teeth are being lost quickly enough to allow permanent teeth to come in properly
- Ascertain the number, size and position of teeth that are still to erupt and the effects they may have on the overall dental health of the child
- Check the effect oral habits, such as thumb sucking, are having on the dentition of the growing child before it is too late.
- Determine whether your child will need orthodontic treatment
How Safe Are Dental X-Rays?
Advances in dentistry over the years have led to a number of measures that minimize the risks associated with Dental X-rays. In most cases the level of radiation is as much as you get when you are out in the sun.
If you are concerned about radiation exposure due to X-rays, talk to your dentist about how often X-rays are needed and why they are being taken. While some people need X-rays taken frequently, current guidelines require that X-rays be given only when needed for clinical diagnosis. It is important that your dentist has baseline x-rays of your mouth to monitor your progress.
Types of Dental X-rays
- TMJ shot
- Wrist X-ray
Patient A: If X-rays were taken on time, this could have been treated early.
Getting dental X-rays is an integral part of your overall oral health. Depending on your age and oral health status, X-rays may be performed every one to two years. A few individuals need more frequent x-rays until their oral health is stabilized. Be sure to commit to your appointments and see your Dentist before you experience any pain or other changes in your mouth.
Choice Dental Clinic in Victoria Island Lagos is your preferred dental clinic for deep cleaning. Give us a call today or stop by.
Phone: +234 811 113 1200
Address: 1378D Karimu Kotun Street Victoria Island, Lagos OR 2 Joseph Nahman Close
Victoria Island, Lagos