At American Dental Excellence, we are committed to using the latest technological developments to ensure that our patients receive the best care possible. At our dental clinic, we use digital x-ray technology in order to provide the most advanced imaging options, ensuring we can properly diagnose the problem in less time and with more accuracy than traditional x-rays.

Why Get X-Rays?

There are several reasons why your Westminster dentist may want a dental x-ray:

  • To find issues such as tooth decay, bone damage, and dental injuries (for example, a broken tooth root). An x-ray will often be used for early intervention before any symptoms are actually present.
  • To locate teeth that are crowded, not placed properly, or do not break through the gum as it should. Crowded teeth that do not break through the gums properly are called impacted.
  • To check for any cysts, tumors, or abscesses in the mouth.
  • To check the location of adult teeth growing into children’s jaws who still have baby teeth to ensure they are growing in the right place.
  • To plan the proper treatment for extensive cavities, root canals, dental implant placement, and certain teeth removal procedures.
  • To plan for orthodontic treatment of teeth that are misaligned.

Preparing For Your X-Ray

If you need an x-ray, for the most part, you do not need to do much to prepare. However, make sure to let your doctor know if you are pregnant or there is a possibility you might be pregnant; even though dental x-rays are only performed around your mouth, radiation is always a concern for pregnant women when it comes to x-rays, so it is likely that we will have to postpone x-ray. If it is an urgent need, we may place a lead apron over your body to shield the baby from radiation.

What Happens During an X-Ray

When you need an x-ray, you will come into our dental clinic to take it, and it will then be read by your dentist. As you are sitting in a chair, you will be covered by a heavy lead apron, which is used to shield your body from radiation; however, because we use digital radiology, there is less risk of radiation. There will also be a cover placed over your neck called a thyroid shield which will protect your thyroid gland. Everyone in the room will also wear an apron or stand behind a protective shield.

You will then bite down on a piece of plastic or cardboard. You may need to do this several times in order to get all the necessary photos of your teeth. You may choose to rinse your mouth before and afterwards. Because we use digital x-ray technology, an electronic sensor is used to capture the images of your teeth, which is then spent directly to a computer. This makes it so we can instantly look at your x-rays.

Are X-Rays Painful?

X-rays are completely painless and only take a few minutes. Some people find it uncomfortable to have the plastic or cardboard in their mouths. It may be easier to relax if you find something to focus on in the room and take deep, slow breaths through your nose.

Should I Worry About Radiation?

Dental x-rays do not use very much radiation; however, there is always somewhat of a risk of cell damage when exposed to radiation, even if it is low levels. This is why we add the precautions of using lead aprons and protective shields during the x-ray process. Additionally, because we use digital x-ray technology, the risk of radiation is even lower than it is with traditional x-rays. In general, the low risk of radiation is worth the benefits of the x-ray.

Regardless of the dental service you need, we can help you at American Dental Excellence! Contact us today to learn more.