With all the fancy dental procedures that are cropping up, dentists have to make use of new diagnostic procedures in order to find out what exactly is plaguing your teeth. However, there are also so many controversies surrounding dental x-rays. So what are the things you need to know about this new diagnostic tool which is also known as radiographs?

What are the different types of x-rays?

Dental x-rays come in different sizes and shapes, and there are two different types of dental x-rays — the intraoral and the extra-oral x-rays. Intraoral x-rays are the most common of the two and are used to give your dentist the ability to search for cavities, check the status of your dental roots as well as the surrounding bony area next to your teeth and as well as teeth which are still developing and have yet to erupt. On the other hand, extra-oral x-rays are also called the “big picture” x-rays because of the fact that these x-rays do not just involve teeth but also the surrounding structures such as the skull and the jaw. Extra-oral x-rays will allow your dentist to see impacted teeth as well as assess the relationship between your teeth and jaws.

How safe are dental x-rays?

The benefits of having dental x-rays cannot be argued especially when it comes to assisting your dentist in diagnosing your dental condition. But at the same time, this test also carries a number of health hazards along with it. For this reason, your dentist can follow a number of things to ensure that your health is safeguarded all of the time.

Your dentist can lower the x-ray dose to a point wherein only a very limited of radiation is being emitted by the x-ray machine for each time that it is used. At the same time, the speed of the x-ray film will ensure that your radiograph is collected and developed in a smaller amount of time as well as with a smaller x-ray dose required. Film holders can also reduce the radiation exposure of the patient to other parts of his or her body. In the past, patients had to hold the film in front of their mouth with their bare hands, allowing their hands to also become affected by the radiation. However, film holders replace your dentists hands, and consequently protect the latter from being exposed to doses of radiation.

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