There are various applications of X-ray technology in the field of dentistry. Your dentist could use it for several reasons and purposes, connected to either the diagnosis procedure, or to assisting certain treatments:
- In Prosthetics and Implantology
- In preparing specific dental work: implants, orthodontic dental devices, dentures, etc.
- For evaluation and monitoring of bone loss in patients with periodontal disease, osteoporosis, etc.
- In Surgery and Therapy
- To diagnose infections and estimate their effects on the root canal and surrounding bone;
- To diagnose cysts, tumors, etc;
- X-Rays also provide further help in assisting root canal procedures and apical resection.
- As a supplementary technique during Regular Dental Check-ups
- To identify cavities which are otherwise difficult to see during a regular dental check-up (such as very small cavities forming between patientís teeth, or beneath older dental fillings, etc.). Should patientís risk of developing tooth decay be particularly high, the dentist could choose to require X-rays quite often, even on a regular basis.
- In Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry
- To determine and diagnose a wide range of issues related to losing oneís baby teeth and permanent teeth formation in children;
- To diagnose impacted teeth (unable to emerge through the gums);
- To check on wisdom tooth development, etc.
Usually when patients have certain dental conditions that tend to evolve, the dentist chooses to keep these images for further comparison that could thus reveal an evolution, and help keeping track of the progress in patientís dental condition, over time. Keeping oneís medical records can be very important.
- To keep in patientís medical record, as reference
How often should patients be exposed to X-rays? This is a decision better left to your dentist, as he or she has all the information to calculate a precise rapport between risks and advantages associated with the procedure. Basically, exposure during dental X-rays is insignificant; however, during a lifetime, radiation tends to accumulate, therefore it is better not to overdo dental X-rays, especially if thereís no medical concern involved.