Dental radiographs (x-rays) are essential, preventative, diagnostic tools that provide valuable information not visible during a regular dental exam. We at West Seattle Family Dentistry use this information to safely and accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities and complete an accurate treatment plan. Without x-rays, problem areas may go undetected.
Dental x-rays may reveal:
Detecting and treating dental problems at an early stage can save you time, money, unnecessary discomfort … and your teeth!
Instead of X-ray film, West Seattle Family Dentistry uses digital radiography. This means that 90% less radiation can be used to produce a higher quality image. Images are immediately available which allows for shorter appointments and easy treatment planning with specialists. . Also, no chemicals are involved so there is a much smaller environmental impact!
We are all exposed to natural radiation in our environment. The amount of radiation exposure from a full mouth series of digital dental x-rays is less than the amount a person receives in a single day from natural sources.
Digital dental x-rays produce a low level of radiation and are considered safe. Dentists take necessary precautions to limit the patient's exposure to radiation when taking dental x-rays. These precautions include using lead apron shields to protect the body and digital x-rays that are a fraction of the exposure time of traditional x-rays.
The need for dental x-rays depends on each patient's individual dental health needs. Your dentist and dental hygienist will recommend necessary x-rays based on the review of your medical and dental history, dental exam, signs and symptoms, age consideration, and risk for disease.
A full mouth series of dental x-rays (FMX) is recommended for new patients. A FMX is usually good for five years. Bite-wing x-rays (x-rays of top and bottom teeth biting together) are taken at recall (check-up) visits and are recommended once or twice a year to detect new dental problems.