Dental Tips Blog


Why Do I Need Dental X-Rays?

Posted in Digital X-Rays

Taking x-rays usually involves placing a bulky plastic contraption in your mouth that makes you feel queasy. So anytime the dentist says it’s time for x-rays, it’s no wonder you shudder in dread.

But x-ray technology is actually a cornerstone of high-standard dental care. Your mouth is a very small place to work in, and there’s no way to safely see what’s going on inside individual teeth. So far, x-rays are the only way to get a close-up and clear picture of teeth and surrounding bone.

Here are some ways x-rays prove to be such important tools for your dentist.

Spot Problems

X-rays will help your dentist detect the following long before you may notice:

  • Abscesses
  • Cavities
  • Bone loss
  • Tooth root resorption
  • Wisdom teeth

Regularly checking your teeth for signs of trouble will help your dentist make an early diagnosis and start treatment, if needed. The sooner you find out about any of these sneaky problems, the cheaper, faster, and more conservative your treatment is likely to be. 

Plan Treatment

You can’t dig a foundation for a new home without knowing what’s in the ground underneath. Likewise, your dentist can’t drill-and-fill blindfolded. Without x-rays, that’s exactly what he or she would be doing!

An x-ray or two would help your dentist get an idea of what’s going on inside your mouth before placing a filling, crown, or dental implant.

Track Development

Periodic x-rays for kids reveal the position of adult teeth before they arrive. This way, you can plan ahead for your child’s orthodontic needs.

Talk with your dentist for more information on x-ray necessity and safety.

Posted on behalf of:
Dental Care Center At Kennestone
129 Marble Mill Rd NW
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 424-4565


X-Rays Are Safe for Your Kids!

Posted in Digital X-Rays

X-rays work based on the fact that body tissues absorb the energy in different ways. X-rays easily pass through skin and muscle, but teeth and bone show up because they are much harder.

This makes x-rays extremely useful in dentistry. Dental patients of all ages need x-rays from time to time.

But given the fact that radiation poses the risk of cancer, are x-rays really safe for kids?

Why Your Dentist Needs X-Rays

Why take this risk at all?

X-rays help out by:

  • Revealing key anatomical details
  • Showing cavities in-between teeth
  • Planning effective dental treatment
  • Tracking and predicting tooth development
  • Checking for bone diseases

Without x-rays, your dentist may as well work on your child’s teeth blindfolded.

Precautions Are a Must!

Kids are given the lowest and most infrequent doses of x-rays possible. They are also required to wear a heavy lead apron with a collar to protect their bodies from unnecessary exposure.

How Often Are X-Rays Necessary?

As long as x-ray exposure is kept to a minimum, then routine x-rays pose no harm. The small risk is outweighed by the massive benefits that x-rays provide.

The smaller the body, the lower the exposure should be. Your dentist may wait to take x-rays on your child until:

  • A serious problem or emergency arises
  • He or she is old enough to sit still for their first routine dental x-ray examination
  • It’s time to check on tooth development progress

After that, your dentist may want to take x-rays every 1 or 2 years to watch for cavities. Office policies differ, so check with your dentist on the standards and procedures in your local dental office.

Posted on behalf of:
Red Oak Family Dentistry
5345 W University Dr #200
McKinney, TX 75071
(469) 209-4279


How Safe Are Dental X-Rays?

Posted in Digital X-Rays

X-rays have been an integral part of the dental appointment for many years. But for almost as long their use in dentistry has been hotly debated. A lot of folks feel that x-rays are unnecessary.

X-Rays: Worth the Risk?

X-rays are a two-edged sword. This technology allows you and your dentist a glimpse into your dental health that would be impossible, otherwise. Controlled doses of radiation will help you detect and treat problems before they get out of control.

How Much Radiation Exposure Should You Have?

Radiation is encountered in many everyday situations. It comes from the sun and we are exposed to traces of it in the soil and in household appliances – or even riding in an airplane. You don’t get much more radiation from routine dental x-rays. But large cumulative doses could lead to problems like cancer.

That’s why it’s so important to limit how much radiation you are exposed to when you have the choice.

Dental x-rays are necessary for diagnosing problems in the mouth. How many x-rays you have, though, should be kept to as few as possible. Each machine has adjustable settings according to a person’s size.

Safety Precautions

A few safety precautions help your dental team limit the amount of radiation you receive from x-rays:

  • Using faster equipment
  • Protecting your body with a lead apron
  • Focusing the x-ray beams so that less of your body is exposed
  • Regular inspection of x-ray machines

Call your local dental office to find out their x-ray protocol. Ask about the steps they take to protect the patient from unnecessary radiation. Get the facts in advance because your next dental appointment may very likely include x-rays!

Posted on behalf of :
Prime Dental Care
417 Wall St
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 651-8618


4 Things Your Dentist Uses X-rays For

Posted in Digital X-Rays

Although many people find them inconvenient, x-rays are essential to effective dental care. There are several reasons to consider why your dentist may need to take x-rays:

To Check for Cavities

X-rays serve the purpose of highlighting areas of the teeth that have lower density because of decay. Some cavities can be found on the tops of the chewing surfaces during a clinical exam, but other areas of decay start between teeth can only be seen through radiographic imaging. X-rays can also tell your dentist how deep a actually cavity is.

To Monitor Bone Health.

The bone structure that supports your teeth can become compromised from oral disease such as periodontitis. or Or, it could even show signs of systemic conditions like osteoporosis. X-rays show us the amount of healthy bone that is present, so we can determine if preventive therapy is necessary.

To Plan for Treatments

Whether planning to extract a tooth or to place an implant, your dentist needs to know what is going on below the gums. It would be dangerous to begin an operation without being familiar with the anatomy of the jaw. X-rays can reveal the shape and amount of bone and the location of nerves and sinuses.

To Screen for Abnormalities

X-rays that captures areas around the roots of the teeth and even the entire jaw (such as in a panoramic image) can show if there is an abscess or some abnormal growth that requires further examination. Even potentially life-threatening tumors and other cancerous growths have been first located on routine x-rays.

Clearly, x-ray technology is an invaluable tool that allows us to make well-informed care recommendations specific to your needs. Visit your dentist for a comprehensive oral examination including the necessary x-rays.

Posted on behalf of:
Soft Touch Dentistry
1214 Paragon Dr
O’Fallon, IL 62269
(618) 622-5050 



Three Reasons Your Dentist Needs a Full Mouth X-Ray

Posted in Digital X-Rays

Why does it seem like your dentist is always taking X-Rays of your teeth? Some types of X-Rays might be taken once a year or every 3-5 years depending on the type of image that is needed. One of these X-rays is the full-mouth X-Ray that is usually taken every few years or so.

A Full-Mouth X-ray series might consist of a large panoramic film, several individual films, or both. These films differ than the ones that are taken to check for cavities between your teeth once a year. Rather, these films are taken to assess other significant features of your oral health that impact the life of your teeth.

Panoramic films show the entire jaw as well as the sinus cavities. These films are necessary when checking wisdom teeth, orthodontic concerns, or even if you’re considering dental implant therapy. Since the roots of your teeth extend well into the jaws and near the sinuses, it is important for your dentist to see these areas in order to offer comprehensive care.

FMX series (the series made of multiple smaller films) get an up-close-and-personal look around the roots of your teeth, the ligaments that hold them into place, and the bone levels surrounding them. If you’ve ever battled gum disease, you know just how important these films are!

Most X-Rays are now taken using digital equipment. While dental X-Rays have always been safe, using digital films and technology has just make them that much safer. It also makes it easier to compare changes of your smile over time, or to send images to other providers if you move or are coming from another dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
139 Aliant Pkwy
Alexander City, AL 35010
(256) 329-8401


Is Acid Reflux Destroying Your Smile?

Have you ever been surprised during your dental exam, when your dentist or someone else asked if you had acid reflux disease? A lot of people don’t know it, but unmanaged or severe acid reflux can cause irreversible damage to your teeth.  

There are very unique symptoms that are present in the mouth when a dental patient has GERD. Typically there will be shallow depressions just on the cusp tips of the molars (back teeth.) The depressions are caused by acidic erosion. 

Acid erosion occurs as a result of stomach acids being sent back up into the mouth caused by GERD. If reflux is not present, these acids never make their way back up to the mouth. Unmanaged acid reflux can cause erosion of the enamel throughout the mouth. This causes teeth to be darker yellow, thinner, and washed out. 

What can your dentist do to help delay or repair damage to your teeth as a result of acid reflux? 

Fluoride treatments

 More frequent use of fluoride is important. Fluoride varnish and prescription strength gel can strengthen tooth enamel that is susceptible to erosion and tooth decay.

Porcelain crowns

In areas of severe enamel erosion, full coverage crowns can cover the complete tooth so that no more damage can take place. Crowns are useful for preserving teeth that are no longer structurally able to withstand normal use. 

Routine X-rays

Regular x-rays allow your dentist to check between your teeth (an area not visible during a clinical examination.) This can pinpoint possible problem areas before they become too severe. 

Your dentist will always try to help prevent problems or treat them when they’re as small as possible. If you have active reflux disease, it’s important to see your dentist at least every 6 months.

Posted on behalf of Find Local Dentists


3D Digital X-Rays

Posted in Digital X-Rays

Dental x-rays have always been a part of the routine dental exam.  Used to detect cavities and any other abnormalities in the patient’s mouth, traditional dental x-ray techniques include “Bitewing X-Rays” “Periapical X-Rays”, Panoramic X-Rays” and “Full-Mouth Series.  Many dentists use one or more of these techniques in their dental practices.  All of these different x-ray techniques allow dentists to properly identify and effective treat patients.  Now there is another method available to dentists, which is called the “3D Digital X-Ray”.

The heart of the 3D Digital X-Ray is the Kodak 3D Imaging System, which uses cutting edge technology, low-dose cone beam radiation, and industry leading image software.  This allows the dentist to have unprecedented images of a patient’s anatomy, which allows the dentist to treat the patient more effectively.  While the investment in this system is significant, it gives the dentist yet another “tool in the toolbox” to maintain their patient’s oral health. The dental technician taking the actual x-ray has been properly trained on the equipment and is an expert of the safe use of the new technology.  Results are available to the dentist almost instantaneously as well, so the dentist visit will be over with quickly.  As with all other dental x-ray techniques, the 3D Digital X-Ray is quick and painless.  All that is required is for the patient to sit back and stay still!

Dental x-rays have been in use for years and are a critical part of the patient’s routine preventative dental exam and the 3D Digital X-Ray gives the dentist yet another tool to maintain their patient’s oral health!

Posted on behalf of Nukoa Family Dentistry



Dentistry That’s Good For the Patient and the Environment

Posted in Digital X-Rays

If our generation is known for one thing that they’ve decided to make an impact on, it would be the environment. Caring for the natural resources that are available to us will protect the quality of life that our children and grandchildren will benefit from one day. Taking action to preserve resources and eliminate waste isn’t something that is left for big corporations and homeowners, it’s something that your dentist can do as well.

Electronic charting has now taken over the majority of medical records for patients in the US, including those in dental offices. While electronic charts were seen as efficient due to the ability to access them throughout the office, they also eliminate paper waste while freeing up treatment areas that would otherwise be needed for storage. This keeps costs lower for the dentist, and the patient.

Switching to digital x-rays limits the amount of time that is spent processing traditional films. It also eliminates the need for hazardous chemicals that are used for film development. Traditional x-rays also have an inner sheet of lead that must be disposed of properly in order to prevent contamination of landfills, soil and water supplies. Unfortunately many offices do not dispose of lead properly, and it enters into the community through regular waste receptacles. In the end, digital x-rays also save the patients’ time in the treatment chair.

Reusing sterilizable materials such as water syringes and reducing overall disposables usage in the office not only keeps waste down, it reduces the office overhead. In turn, this keeps operating costs lower.

When your dentist “goes green,” it’s not because they’re trying to fit in with everyone else. It really is beneficial for the practice and you, the patient!


Dental Treatment During Pregnancy

Expectant mothers often take special care of their bodies during this lifetime event. In many cases, they are more devoted to their overall health and lifestyle choices than any other dental patients. Many expectant patients want to know what dental procedures are safe for them to have during pregnancy, and which ones they should avoid until after they give birth.

Routine dental examinations and cleanings are safe for all patients. Preventive care appointments are important for expectant mothers, as the procedure helps eliminate plaque biofilm in areas of gingivitis or gum disease. If left untreated, gum disease can actually place you at risk to go into labor prematurely and deliver a low birthweight baby.

Dental x-rays are typically only taken on pregnant women if they are due to an emergency. Even in these cases, special care is taken that reduces potential exposure to the fetus, by using a lead apron. Digital radiography uses 90% less radiation than traditional dental x-rays, further reducing any risk to fetal development.

The first trimester of your pregnancy is the most vital. Most routine dental treatment can be delayed during this period until you have reached your second trimester. The use of specific medications that are frequently used in dental treatment may need to be eliminated during pregnancy. This is why it is important to let your dental care provider know if you even suspect that you may be pregnant, as some medications interfere with tooth formation in a developing fetus.

Local anesthesia is typically viewed as safe to use during pregnancy, and is necessary for any emergency treatment to eliminate discomfort during the procedure. Choosing to have all treatments completed while in the earliest stages will prevent possible infection risks to your child.

Posted on behalf of Grateful Dental



How Often Should X-Rays Be Taken?

Sometimes it can seem a bit confusing as to whether or not you’re due for dental x-rays. Didn’t you just have one taken at the last appointment? What about that full set they did 5 years ago? Why won’t the large x-ray show what is on the tooth that is hurting you? All of this may seem to not make much sense, and can leave dental patients puzzled about how often routine dental x-rays actually need to be taken.

Routine bitewing x-rays are typically taken once a year. For some patients, your dentist may feel that you are predisposed to a higher rate of dental disease and request that they are taken twice a year instead. These 4 radiographs show a detailed view of the bone levels between the teeth as well as the health of tooth enamel in areas that are prone to decay.

Periapical x-rays are typically taken only if there is a specific concern, or if you are having a complex procedure performed. This type of x-ray views the entire length of the root as well as the bone around it. Most periapical films are taken at the time of treatment or during an emergency exam.

Full Mouth X-Ray sets (FMX) are a combination of periapical and bitewing x-rays, totaling about 20 films throughout the entire mouth. These sets of x-rays are usually taken at the first adult appointment or once every 3-5 years for a comprehensive screening and examination of the oral anatomy.

Panoramic x-rays show the jawbones, wisdom teeth and other cranial structures such as the sinuses. Pano films are usually taken every 3-5 years, or for specific consultations regarding orthodontic needs, wisdom tooth development, and dental implant therapy.

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