In order to view the inside of the teeth, gums and bone we expose dental x-rays. Our use of digital x-ray now reduces your radiation exposure by 80%-50% as compared with traditional film based x-ray. The radiation from a full set of dental x-ray is about 1/30 of average annual radiation exposure in the U.S. from natural sources.
If you are a new patient, Dr. Carpenter may recommend x-rays to determine the present status of the hidden areas of your mouth and to help analyze changes that may occur later. If you have had recent radiographs at your previous dentist, your new dentist may ask you to have the radiographs forwarded.
The need for x-rays at recall visits varies according to your age, risk for disease and signs and symptoms. Recent films may be needed to detect new cavities, or to determine the status of gum disease or for evaluation of growth and development.
Many diseases of the teeth and surrounding tissues cannot be seen when your dentist examines your mouth. An X-ray examination may reveal:
- small areas of decay between the teeth or below existing fillings
- infections in the bone
- periodontal (gum) disease
- abscesses or cysts
- developmental abnormalities
- some types of tumors
Finding and treating dental problems at an early stage can save time, money and unnecessary discomfort. It can detect damage to oral structures not visible during a regular exam. If you have a hidden tumor an x-ray may even help save your life. Dr. Carpenter found a potentially life threatening tumor in a patient in Fall 2011. The patient was referred to a specialist and he is recovering well.
We have a Cone Beam (dental ct scan or 3D X ray) machine here in the office for advanced imaging needs as well.