We often hear from patients, “I just want to get my teeth cleaned, why do I need x-rays?” A big part of your cleaning is an oral examination which includes what you can see and what you can’t see. Some things easily visible are: the soft tissue, cheeks, tongue, oral cancer screening, and the health of the gums to name a few. Examples of what you can’t see: in between the teeth, underneath dental restorations, and the support structure of the teeth. X-rays are essential and necessary for a proper examination. Early detection and early treatment can prevent problems and stop them from becoming more extensive, painful and costly. If we agreed to “just do the cleaning” and not take the x-rays, we would not be doing our job, by providing you with proper examinations, and diagnosis of any visible or non-visible dental disease, along with various treatment options.
Each person’s need for x-rays varies on many factors, some include: presence of visible dental disease, periodontal (gum) disease, family history, decayed, missing or filled teeth, diet along with proper home care and dental hygiene. We follow the American Dental Association’s guidelines for radiographs and we would be happy to review what we recommend as a frequency of x-rays for you. This will provide you with the optimum oral health benefits for a lifetime.
At Progressive Dental we do everything we can to minimize exposure to any radiation. We use digital x-rays that are the latest technology and limit the amount you are exposed to. We use transillumination and fluorescence to show areas not easily visible with the naked eye. These new technologies do not emit any radiation. We require the use of a lead shield with a thyroid collar for your protection. These digital x-rays can be enhanced and enlarged immediately, which allows our doctors the ability to make more precise diagnosis.
There are several different x-rays that help your dentist provide you with a more accurate evaluation. Bite-wings are used to detect decay between molars. Periapicals (PA’s) show the roots of the front and back teeth along with surrounding bone density and quality. A panoramic x-ray, which goes around your head, captures the entire mouth and teeth on the upper and lower jaws. If a patient is considering implants our Doctors will request a CT scan. This is a 3D image, which the Doctor can manipulate to see all aspects of the tooth. Depending on your oral health, we recommend a full mouth series of x-rays every five to seven years.
The Doctors at Progressive Dental want to provide you with the best, most comprehensive care. We strive to offer world class treatment and high levels of efficiency!