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.
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