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Why does my dentist need to take an x-ray?

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Treatment:  Most people need an x-ray every couple of years but sometimes you may need them more often for particular issues or treatments. There are a range of x-rays which allow your dentist to see problem areas before they’re serious and to carry out complex treatments. Here’s what you need to know.

You’re at the dentist for your regular checkup and your dentist wants to take an x-ray. You had an x-ray last time – why do you need another one? Your teeth feel fine, you just want them checked and cleaned. Is an x-ray necessary?

There are several reasons why you might need an x-ray but your Apple Dental practitioner will always explain why you need one.

When is an x-ray needed?

You might be feeling fine, but an x-ray can uncover hidden problems. An x-ray shows your dentist the areas they can’t see – right down to the roots of your teeth and your jaw bone, as well as in between your teeth. Your dentist will be able to see early signs of tooth decay and gum disease, including under crowns and caps, and around implants.

An x-ray can also show if you have wisdom teeth that haven’t surfaced yet, which may create issues and require extraction.

Most people will need x-rays every couple of years.

Different types of dental x-rays

The most common type of x-ray, bitewing, is done in the chair. You bite down on a small sensor and the x-ray looks at a particular area. These help your dentist check specific areas of concern.

A cone beam CT x-ray is one which makes a 3D image of your mouth, jaw, neck, ears, nose and throat. It’s non-invasive and helps with diagnosis and treatment-planning for root canal treatments, implant procedures and tricky wisdom teeth.

How do x-rays affect your health?

Digital x-rays only emit a very small amount of radiation, as do other activities such as flying. Bitewing, Cone Beam and OPG x-rays all give less radiation than a return flight from the UK to New York. Apple Dental always has your health and safety in mind when suggesting scans and treatments.

Your Apple Dental practitioner will be happy to talk to you about any questions you have regarding x-rays. Book an appointment online now.

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