Why Dental X-rays?
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The X-ray has been around since the late 1800s. Interestingly enough, the X in x-ray does not actually stand for anything. It was referred to as X because in was an unknown light at the time. Rector Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen was the first to discover the ability of the radiation to penetrate skin to photograph bones. In modern times, x-rays can be used for detecting cavities, setting bones, finding cancer, ulcers, stones as well as identifying and locating foreign objects. Most trips to the dentist include an x-ray to establish baselines, track mouth growth and to find cavities. In addition to the field of medicine, X-rays are also commonly used in a variety of present day processes such as TSA luggage inspections at airports across the country.
According to WebMD there are 5 different types of dental x-rays commonly used
- Bitewing X-rays show how the upper and lower jaws meet. These X-rays detect decay between the teeth and to show how well the upper and lower teeth line up. As well as showing bone loss when dental disease or gum disease is present.
- Periapical X-rays show the entire tooth, from root to tip. They are used to find problems below the gums or within the gums
- Occlusal X-rays can be used to find teeth that have not broken the surface, teeth that are not growing in correctly, foreign objects, and even clefts of the palate. It shows the roof of the mouth or the bottom of the mouth.
- Panoramic X-rays show a broader view. It can show teeth, mouth, jaw alignment, and even the sinuses, however, it is not used to find cavities. It can show diseases, impacted teeth, and even infections.
- Digital X-ray is a new method being used in some dental offices. A small sensor unit sends pictures to a computer to be recorded and saved.
With all the different kind of x-rays, preventative medicine can be used to prevent or detect diseases and problems early. A tooth that is growing in incorrectly can be addressed much easier when it is below the gum, than when it breaks the surface of the gum and causes other teeth to shift.
This article was produced by freelance writer Stacy Samuels on behalf of Texas-based Borowski Cosmetic Dentistry.