Observing and exploring the mouth, teeth, and gums can spot many dental problems. However, x-rays are essential when we design and prepare implants, dentures, and braces and perform some dental procedures. In addition, dental x-rays are a powerful diagnostic tool that may show many problems that aren’t visible to the naked eye.
Diagnosing these conditions and beginning treatment early in their development will save you pain, money, and future tooth and gum problems.
Most people need cavity-checking x-rays once a year. For these x-rays, we take two to four individual x-rays of the patient's teeth. These small x-rays are called bitewings, and they're the ones you bite down on a plastic frame that holds x-ray film. For adults, we also take a complete series of x-rays or a Panorex (the machine that makes a half-circle around your head when it's taking the x-ray) every five years. These radiographs show us all of the teeth and allow Dr. Welch to screen for gum disease, abscesses, and any tumors that can hide below what we can see on the bitewings.
Yes, dental x-rays are safe. Some of our patients don’t want to have x-rays during routine checkups because they are concerned about radiation, while others want to avoid routine x-rays to save money. We’d like to set your mind at ease about both of these concerns and explain why periodic dental x-rays are a necessary part of your oral health plan and essential to avoiding unnecessary dental expenses in the future.
If you have any questions, or would like to make an appointment, call our professional dental team at (336) 288-4499.