Dentist in Lancaster Explains Different Types of X-Rays

dental x-rayX-rays are an invaluable diagnostic and preventive tool for any dental practice. They help your dentist in Lancaster catch problems early and possibly even before they form, allowing a treatment to be put in place to stop the issue from occurring at all. There are a few different types of X-rays used by a dental practice, and the one that you require will depend on what needs to be seen and how much detail is required.

Types of X-Rays

Dental X-rays can either be intraoral, taken inside the mouth, or extraoral, captured from outside. Intraoral X-rays are generally preferred because they provide more detail and allow for better treatment planning. The following types of X-rays can all be taken at the dentist’s office.

  • Bite-wing: This is perhaps the most common type of X-ray, often taken during a routine checkup. It provides a look at the back teeth, so your dentist can check for cavities or weak spots of tooth enamel on the molars and premolars.
  • Periapical: This type of X-ray offers a detailed look at an entire tooth, from the supportive root structure and bone as well as the crown.
  • Panoramic: For orthodontic treatment or implant placement, your dentist may recommend a panoramic. This captures a view of the entire mouth and the supportive structures.
  • Occlusal: This type of X-ray shows the bite of the upper or lower jaw. It captures primary and secondary teeth, so it is perfect for examining a child’s dental development.

X-Rays Are Worth It

Having X-rays taken when your dentist recommends it is important because it means you or your child will receive the most informed care and accurate treatments possible. Radiation exposure is drastically reduced with modern tools and technology. Plus, most dental insurance plans will even cover the cost of a set of bite-wing X-rays each year. When it comes to your lasting oral health, X-rays are a significant asset.  

Keeping You and Your Family Safe

Some patients are concerned about the potential risks of radiation associated with X-rays. The American Dental Association says it is safe for patients of all ages to receive X-rays as needed. And the truth is, not getting dental X-rays could be harmful to your health if it means infection progresses longer than it might have otherwise. During the X-ray capture, your dental hygienist or assistant will place a heavy lead apron over you to protect you from the negligible amounts of radiation that are associated with modern radiography.  

To conclude, X-rays are very safe — in fact, getting one for you or your child when your dentist recommends it could be the best way to protect your health for years to come!

Meet the Practice

The Mor Smiles dental team offers comprehensive dentistry services to patients of all ages. They recommend all patients have an X-ray at least annually to check for hidden areas of decay and other oral health hazards. When was your last dental X-ray? If it’s been a while, you are invited to contact the office by calling 717-961-5767 today.


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