Dental X-Rays: Everything You Need To Know

Dental X-rays are a routine procedure for every patient at Sunridge Dental Clinic. While you don't need X-rays every time you have a dental cleaning, they are a crucial step that ensures your teeth are healthy. 

Keep reading to learn more about why we need X-rays, the different types of dental X-rays, and what to expect when you come in for an appointment with your local dentist in NE Calgary.  


Why Do We Need Dental X-Rays? 

Dental X-rays allow dentists to get a closer look at the details of your teeth. Dentists use X-rays to spot cavities, ensure the roots of your teeth are healthy, ensure new teeth are growing correctly, and monitor your jawbone to make sure there is no risk of oral disease.  

What Are the Different Types of X-Rays and What Do They Tell Us? 

There are many different types of dental X-rays, but they all fall under two main categories: extraoral and intraoral. Extraoral x-rays show some details of the teeth, but they mainly focus on your jaw and skull. Intraoral X-rays are more common and show details of your teeth and jawbone.  

Types of extraoral X-rays include: 

  1. Panoramic X-rays 
    Panoramic X-rays show the full mouth and help dentists see the placement of your teeth, as well as teeth that haven't come through yet. 

  2. Sialography 
    Sialography involves injecting your salivary glands with dye so dentists can get a closer look. Your dentist will likely order this test if you think you have a problem with your salivary gland.  

  3. Tomograms  
    Tomograms help dentists take a closer look at a specific section of your mouth while blurring out other areas. 

  4. Computed Tomography 
    This type of X-ray is also known as a CT scan, and it shows problems in any bone in your face. Medical professionals and dentists typically use these to identify tumors or broken bones.  

Types of intraoral X-rays include:  

  1. Bite-wing X-rays 
    Bite-wing X-rays show details of both the upper and lower teeth in certain sections of the mouth. These x-rays detect decay in between your teeth as well as early signs of gum disease. 

  2.  Occlusal X-rays 
    Occlusal X-rays show a broader view of the mouth and help dentists watch tooth placement and development. 

  3. Periapical X-rays 
    Periapical X-rays show a full picture of your tooth, including the root. These x-rays detect abnormalities in the root of your tooth as well as the surrounding jawbone. 

When Should Children Start Having X-Rays?  

Most adults and children will not need X-rays every time they come into our office for an appointment. How often you get X-rays, and when children start getting them, will depend on your teeth and what the dentist thinks you need.  

Your child will start dental X-rays as soon as the dentist thinks they are ready. According to the Canadian Dental Association, you should start bringing your child in when they are 12 months old, or no later than six months after their first tooth appears.  

Make an Appointment with Your Dentist in NE Calgary Today  

Getting to the dentist for routine cleanings is extremely important. If you haven't had a cleaning in a while, or think you might need dental X-rays, don't hesitate to make an appointment with our dentist in Calgary, NE today.  

The team at Sunridge Dental Clinic is here to make sure you feel comfortable and answer any questions you have about the procedures you need for a healthy smile.  

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