X-rays help us uncover oral health issues that are not possible to detect through a visual exam alone. In order to get the entire picture of your oral health history, and to be able to provide the most effective dental care possible, all new patients at Belvedere Family Dentistry must have their new patient x-rays taken at their first appointment. In an effort to ensure you are comfortable and relaxed during your x-ray screening, we have outlined what to expect during this process.
Once you have completed your new patient forms, checked in for your appointment, and your first exam has begun, your dental hygienist will take you back for your x-rays. Your hygienist will begin by covering you with a lead apron, as a safety precaution. Next, a small, plastic, wing-shaped apparatus will be placed into you mouth. This process is referred to as a bite-wing x-ray because you bite down on the apparatus to hold it in place while the x-ray is being taken. Your dental hygienist will adjust the apparatus to capture multiple angles of your teeth, taking special care to capture the upper and lower molars. This type of new patient x-rays are commonly used during your first dental exam because they help your dentist to identify decay between your back teeth.
If you are concerned about radiation exposure from x-rays, know that our patients safety and overall health is our top priority. At Belvedere Family Dentistry, our machines emit virtually no radiation. Surprisingly, one round of dental x-rays is comparable to one day in the sun! Plus, the x-ray process is also completely pain free.
We will use these x-rays to help determine any underlying health issues that may otherwise go undetected. These health problems could include damage to jawbones, impacted teeth, abscesses, cysts or tumors, or underlying decay. It is important to catch these issues early so they can be treated before they worsen with time!
X-rays will need to be updated every year or two. Depending on the severity of your mouth’s condition, x-rays could be required more often. Getting your new patient x-rays with us at Belvedere Family Dental is an easy and efficient process. If you have any more questions call us today at (704) 927- 5499.
Some of the most common questions our patients ask at Belvedere Family Dentistry have to do with dental x-rays: Are they safe? Why do I or my kids need them? How often should I get them? These are great questions (and we love how much you prioritize your oral health). The answers can get complex quickly, so we’ll do our best to cover the basics for you in this post.
Let’s start with the most important question—safety. Both the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Dental Association (ADA) test dental x-rays to make sure they’re safe for patients of all ages. These governing bodies revise their guidelines when any advances in science and technology provide new methods to reduce exposure. Thanks to faster film speeds, digital X-rays, and protective aprons and thyroid collars, the dental X-rays we provide today are far superior to those taken even just a few years ago.
This applies to children, too. Today’s X-rays are so safe, in fact, that the amount of radiation a child is exposed to through dental X-rays of their back molars is roughly equivalent to the amount of radiation they are exposed to in the environment on a daily basis.
Why Do You Need X-Rays?
Dental X-rays, also called radiographs, help your dentist spot conditions, like cavities, tooth misalignment, and abscesses, that they can’t see through a visual examination. X-rays are especially important for children because they are generally more susceptible to tooth decay than adults. The benefits of dental X-rays, which include diagnosing decay, pathology, or any abnormalities, far outweigh the risks of exposure to this minimal dose of radiation.
How Often Should I Get Them?
Your dental X-ray schedule depends on a number of factors, including your medical and dental history. Generally, patients without a history of cavities or dental disease are recommended to undergo one set of X-rays every two to three years. The best way to reduce the number of X-rays you need in your visits with us is to continue following a good oral hygiene regimen at home in between your regular, bi-annual appointments.
Wondering When You’re Due for X-Rays?
Call our front office at Belvedere Family Dentistry & Orthodontics today at 704-927-5499 to ask a member of our team about your dental history! We will be happy to help you schedule your next appointment if you are overdue, or if you know you have not had dental x-rays taken in a while you can quickly schedule online with us HERE.
Our staff relies on digital X-rays to help us diagnose oral conditions and process images at incredibly high speeds. You can also view digital X-rays in real time while we examine your mouth with an intraoral camera and upload the images to a software program. A chair side computer monitor lets you see these images as we refine areas of concern to ensure an accurate diagnosis.
But are dental X-rays safe?
Yes! They emit 80 percent less radiation than exposure-type X-rays and provide detailed images to improve diagnosis and treatment. We can now detect dental problems in their earliest stages without subjecting you to unnecessary radiation. The amount of radiation released by digital X-rays is “negligible,” which means the amount is so small, that it can be safely disregarded.
Safe enough for children and pregnant women, digital X-rays detect microscopic pitting in tooth enamel and other abnormalities in the oral tissues that might have remained undetected with traditional X-rays. When our doctors and staff discover dental caries in their earliest stages, we can initiate treatment measures that will effectively prevent cavity development, tooth decay, and potential tooth loss.
Patient appointment lengths are shortened with digital X-rays as well, because images are immediately viewable and do not require the exposure time associated with old-style X-rays.
How Digital X-Rays Differ from Traditional X-Rays
Instead of using cardboard-contained film, we insert a small sensing device about the size of a pen in your mouth and engage the digital X-ray machine by manually manipulating control buttons. Within seconds, images appear on the monitor that can later be stored in your file or sent to another doctor for further examination.
The increased resolutions afforded by digital X-rays means that patients are able to understand the seriousness of their dental issues better, and are more inclined to follow through with procedures recommended by our team.
Safer, Better and Faster
For detection of cancerous tumors in their early states, digital X-ray technology offers vast improvements over film X-rays because of its cutting-edge image processing capability. Early detection of oral cancer and dental caries is the best way to prevent any type of oral health problem from exceeding the treatable stage.
Uptown Charlotte Dentistry & Orthodontics
We do our best to make it easy for you to get the beautiful smile you deserve! Our office accepts nearly all major insurance plans. Even though dental insurance is a private arrangement between you and your company, we will file your claim, handle all the paperwork, and help you get maximum insurance benefits.
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