Regular dental appointments are one of the most necessary steps for any person that would like to live a long and healthy life. Not only is impeccable oral health necessary for a bright and beautiful smile, it will also help to protect the rest of the body from serious problems that may begin to crop up. For those that do schedule regular checkups with their dentist at least twice a year, one of the services that they provide is dental x-rays. This quick and pain-free component of the checkup has received negative attention in the past, yet changes to the field of dentistry and this unique piece of technology make it very safe, even when performed multiple times a year.
Brushing and flossing every single day will help to reduce one's chances of being diagnosed with any number of common ailments that take place in the mouth. Without these steps, plaque and tartar will start to accumulate on the teeth and gums. If this goes untreated, they will produce bacteria and acids that will attack the teeth and gums and result in cavities, oral diseases, and possibly even tooth loss. In addition to brushing and flossing, it is necessary for individuals to seek out professional dental cleaning every six months, but this will not prevent every oral health condition in all patients. In order to keep one's teeth and mouth as healthy as possible, patients will need x-rays to catch any ailments in their earliest stages for the best chance at treatment.
X-rays are used to catch any issues with the teeth, gums, and jaws. This includes deterioration of the bones around the teeth, cavities, and other forms of decay. Even with complete visual inspections, some of the most devastating oral health complications are impossible to diagnose without these advanced images. Fortunately, x-rays are now safer than ever and all individuals should seek out dental x-rays at multiple points throughout their life.
One of the key changes that have made x-rays extremely safe is the duration of exposure that the individual will require. Changes to film, the cone, the size of the beam, and digital radiography have lowered the amount of exposure by as much as 90 percent in some cases. This allows the dentist to get accurate images while significantly limiting the chances of any side effects.
All x-ray machines also require regular inspections by state and federal officials that check them for any defects that could probably cause problems. Patients will be given lead shields as well to lower the area of exposure. With all of these safeguards in place, there is nearly no chance of a dangerous side effect, and everyone should discuss the use of dental x-rays with their local dentist.