Seeing below the gum line allows us to give you the best dental care possible. We regularly take x-rays as part of our routine dental exams.
Why are x-rays needed?
X-rays provide the ability to reveal issues like tooth decay, an impacted tooth, periodontal disease, or even allowing certain tumors to be caught early. For patients with certain problems or treatments, Dr. Pitner can more accurately monitor the progress or regress. In young children it is especially important to have regular x-rays to monitor the growth of new teeth, such as permanent teeth growing in behind primary (baby) teeth.
For routine images, the x-ray technician will ask you to bite down on a special piece of paper inserted into your mouth in order to get a certain view of your teeth and also to check how your upper and lower teeth meet each other (bite). In some cases, you may stand at a machine that provides a panoramic image of your entire mouth in one image.
Are x-rays safe?
Some patients may be concerned about the safety of radiation exposure from dental x-rays. Because Pitner Family Dentistry utilizes the latest technology available, we are able capture the clearest images with minimal radiation. Dr. Pitner employs a strategy called "As Low As Reasonably Achievable" (ALARA) to lessen the time and amount of your exposure to radiation during imaging procedures. In addition to using low dose radiation, the lead vest used in the procedure is a layer of protection for your vital organs against unnecessary exposure. Dental x-rays are considered safe for any age, even for pregnant women with proper use of lead shields and protective coverings.
How often should I get a dental x-rays?
The general recommendation for most patients is every 12 months.
For those undergoing specific treatment, it may be more frequent to monitor progress.