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X-rays and your oral health

Over the past few decades, dentistry has evolved significantly. We have moved from an era of treating dental emergencies to now avoiding serious dental and gum related problems before they occur.

Although our dentists have a trained eye for picking up problems in the mouth, a vital part of our examination includes X-rays. These allow us to see between and inside the teeth and to assess the underlying bone which supports your teeth.

Dental X-rays help dentists visualise diseases of the teeth and surrounding tissue that cannot be seen with a simple oral exam. In addition, X-rays help the dentist find and treat dental problems early in their development, which can potentially save you money, unnecessary discomfort, and maybe even your life.

We realise that there has always been concerns with exposure to X-rays, however at The Dental Practice we make sure to employ the use of the latest technology, including digital imaging. Compared to conventional X-rays, digital X-rays offer one tenth the amount of radiation. This may be comparable to natural background radiation such as walking around outside for the day.

By updating our X-rays every 12-18 months, we are able to compare how the condition of your teeth has changed and make sure there are no serious problems developing. This can help avoid problems such as nerve damage or even tooth loss.

In adults, dental X-rays can be used to:

  • Show areas of decay that may not be visible with an oral exam, especially small areas of decay between teeth.
  • Identify decay occurring beneath an existing filling.
  • Reveal bone loss that accompanies gum disease.
  • Reveal changes in the bone or in the root canal resulting from infection.
  • Assist in the preparation of tooth implants, braces, dentures, or other dental procedures.
  • Reveal an abscess (an infection at the root of a tooth or between the gum and a tooth).
  • Reveal other developmental abnormalities such as cysts and some types of tumors.

In children, dental X-rays are used to:

  • Watch for decay.
  • Determine if there is enough space in the mouth to fit all incoming teeth.
  • Determine if baby teeth are being lost quickly enough to allow adult teeth to come in properly.
  • Check for the development of wisdom teeth and identify if the teeth are impacted (unable to emerge through the gums.

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