World Radiography Day is celebrated on 8 November each year. The date marks the anniversary of the discovery of x-radiation by Wilhelm Roentgen in 1895. Today we celebrate radiography as a vital contribution to modern healthcare and to raise public awareness of the importance of diagnostic imaging, especially in dentistry.
Why are Dental X-rays Important?
Dental x-rays are an essential diagnostic tool that provides a variety of critical information, as a visual exam does not always tell your dentist everything they need to know. A series of x-rays can provide a more complete picture and help detect problems before they arise. Addressing dental issues early can save you time, money, and discomfort as well as prevent more serious health problems in the future.
Today’s digital x-rays are designed to minimize radiation and are invaluable in the maintenance of good oral health. Every patient’s oral health varies, so your needs will be evaluated and an x-ray schedule will be recommended accordingly. If you are a new patient, it is necessary to take a full series of x-rays to assess your current health and use this as a baseline going forward.
X-Rays Can Help Detect:
- Small areas of decay (cavities) in the teeth or below the fillings
- Infections in the root of the tooth
- Bone loss around the tooth
- Abscesses, cysts, or some tumors
- Periodontal (gum) disease
- Position of tooth roots
- Position of jaw bones
- Signs of trauma
- Status of developing teeth and any possible defects
Examples of Dental X-rays
Periapical: Reveals the entire tooth, from the crown to the root. Used to detect issues in the root or surrounding bone
Bitewing: Shows detail in one area of the mouth on the upper and lower teeth from the crown to the bone. Used to find decay and bone loss
Panoramic: Shows all the teeth in both the upper and lower jaws in one image. Used to identify emerging or impacted teeth and possibly tumors.
Complete Mouth Series: Includes bitewing and periapical x-rays showing all of the teeth, roots, and related areas of the jaws. Used to establish current oral health status of patients.
Cone Beam CT (CBCT): Shows the interior structures of the head and neck in a 3D image. Assists in detecting tumors or fractures in the facial bones. A CBCT is essential for the evaluation and placement of dental implants.