• The Importance of Dental X-Rays

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    August 11th, 2010adminarticles

    Ever wondered how X-rays work? Well, simply put, X-rays are forms of energy that are absorbed by highly-dense objects such as bones and metal, which in turn, leave bright imprints on an X-ray film. Non-dense objects, like flesh and clothing, let X-rays pass through, leaving faint to no imprints on an X-ray film—the end result of the two is an X-ray film showing only our bones and not our muscles and flesh. That was fairly easy to understand, wasn’t it?

    Now, the importance of X-rays or more formally called “radiographs” to dentists is invaluable. Major dental procedures require precise X-rays of the teeth and the jaw—and in some cases like TMD disorders, the entire skull. In the field of medicine and dentistry, radiographs have saved countless lives because it gives a clear purview of the problems in the skeletal system, which are obviously not normally seen by the naked eye. With X-rays, a doctor/dentist does not need to cut through the flesh to see any abnormality in the bone. X-rays procedures nowadays use less radiation. Before, one could only have an X-ray done once a year to prevent high radioactivity in the body.

    But while we’re on the subject of dentistry, we’re going to look at the main benefits on X-rays to both dentists and their patients:

    X-ray images reveal areas of decay inside the tooth and below the gum line. There have been a lot of cases wherein decay builds up deep inside a filling. To avoid gambling on which tooth is decaying from inside, a dentist may require the patient to get an X-ray procedure done on the latter’s teeth to make sure that he’s drilling the right tooth.

    Moreover, X-rays will help detect areas of decay, cracks and sills in-between teeth that cause intolerable pain. People with intact teeth are impossible to diagnose if they have decay developing on the sides of their teeth. But through the help of X-rays, tartar buildup, cavities and tooth decay on the side of the teeth are easier to detect and multiple outbreaks can be prevented.

    In serious cases of deteriorating teeth caused by periodontal diseases, the dentist will advise the patient to get an X-ray to know if bone loss has occurred.

    People who are getting dentures, braces and invisalign must first get a radiograph of their teeth so the dentist can make the assessment if their teeth are anatomically fit for the procedure and if any hindering teeth should be removed in the process. Otherwise, teeth and gums have a high possibility of getting hurt in the installation of these devices.

    Serious abnormalities like cysts, oral cancer, Paget’s disease, and lymphoma, though sparingly bone-related, require X-rays to know if they have spread throughout the mouth and outlying bones and cavities.

    Children with history of tooth decay and weak teeth can be summoned for an X-ray examination by their dentist if the problem persists and to monitor the recovery of the teeth suffering from the decay. More importantly, children with malocclusions on their baby teeth are required to have X-rays to prevent impaction of erupting teeth so permanent teeth can normally facilitate the eruption process, paving a lower chance of malocclused teeth.

    Dental X-rays procedures should be facilitated sparingly to prevent excessive radiation, which can cause permanent, encroaching damage to delicate body organs.

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