The first thing that you are going to have to remember is the lead vest. Well, you are not going to have to remember because someone is going to know to do it for you. X-rays are safe for the most part, but it is best not to expose yourself more than necessary to the radiation. This works just like any other x-ray with a doctor, but the dentist just has different tools that are focused more specifically on this part of the body.
In terms of feeling safe with all of this, you should know that your dentist is not just trusting a tool that they are good at using. To use x-rays, you need to take specific classes and get proper certification. Most dentists even go to additional lessons to maintain their knowledge. This is no laughing matter and they make sure that you are in the best of hands.
As much as you can get a good idea of what is going on from mirrors and looking at the outside, the gums prevent you from seeing all the way down to the root. That means that you need some help to get underneath. With x-rays, you can identify problems invisible to the naked eye, including tooth decay, cavities, and impacted teeth. You can also see how wisdom teeth are growing in and other things.
Specifically talking about using x-ray to see what is underneath, it is a great tool to give you a better picture of what is going on. When baby teeth come out of your mouth, it happens because there is an adult tooth growing underneath that pushes it out from the root. Some people have baby teeth for their entire lives because there is no adult tooth, which is confirmed by x-ray. Once all your teeth are in, wisdom teeth also come in around the sides. Most people need them removed, but you can see how it affects the jaw.
This is not any sort of discrimination, but a warning for your health and the health of your developing child. Although x-ray is completely safe for children and adults, it is not safe for developing fetuses, so it is important that you tell your dentist if you are pregnant or you believe that you might be. Once you have the baby, we can get you right back in and you can see what is ailing your teeth.
Dentists do a good job learning about your overall oral health by looking inside of your mouth, but it helps even further if they are able to get a picture of your mouth to look at. The x-ray is a great snapshot of your teeth where they can take the time to examine for issues. You will appreciate that they are doing the searching on a printout instead of inside your mouth.
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