Taking care of your teeth is extremely important. To do so, dental exams should be done twice a year. During your regular exams, your dentist will periodically take dental x-rays to help in finding cavities, impacted teeth, cysts, cracks in existing filings, and to detect possible bone loss. X-rays are also used when doing root canals.
There are two types of x-rays done in the dental office. Intraoral x-rays are x-rays done with the x-ray film inside of the mouth, such as bite wing or periapical x-rays. The bite wing x-ray shows the upper and lower teeth in one part of your mouth. The periapical x-ray shows the whole tooth from the root to the crown. Extra oral x-rays are done with the x-ray film outside of the mouth, such as Panoramic x-rays. In a Panoramic x-ray the machine circles your entire head, and x-rays the whole mouth in a single shot.
Exposure to radiation is extremely low during dental x-rays. Advancements made in x-ray machinery and x-ray film has lowered even more the amount of radiation used. The dentist will still have the patient wear a lead apron during the x-ray for additional protection. However, the benefits of dental x-rays far outweigh the small exposure to radiation. Amazingly, you can get as much radiation exposure from sleeping next to another person all year as you get during a dental x-ray,
In the dental office you will mainly see wall mounted x-ray machinery, which is the most common equipment. However, some x-ray equipment is on a rolling stand for portability within the office. A third type of x-ray machinery is Portable x-ray equipment. Portable equipment is used to take to the patient, when the patient cannot come to the dentist. It is designed for use in nursing homes, jails, clinics, or military units. So, thanks to modern technology, no matter where the patient is, their dental health can be maximized with the benefit dental x-rays.