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At 4th Avenue Dental Centre, your friendly general dentist in Calgary, Alberta, we are committed to providing our patients with comfortable, quality care, including access to the latest dental technology. And one of the most important technologies we use is Dental X-rays.

Dental x-rays are an essential tool for dentists in diagnosing oral health issues that may not be visible to the naked eye. They provide detailed images of the teeth, gums, and surrounding bone structure, allowing dentists to identify cavities, gum disease, and other dental problems.


Types of Dental X-Rays


There are several types of dental x-rays, each with its own purpose and benefits. Some of the most common types include:

  • Bitewing X-Rays: These x-rays capture images of the upper and lower back teeth, showing the crowns of the teeth and the height of the bone between them. They are used to identify decay between teeth and to evaluate the fit of dental restorations.
  • Periapical X-Rays: These x-rays capture images of the entire tooth, from the crown to the tip of the root, and the surrounding bone structure. They are used to diagnose dental problems such as abscesses, impacted teeth, and bone loss.
  • Panoramic X-Rays: These x-rays capture a panoramic view of the entire mouth, including the teeth, upper and lower jaws, and sinuses. They are used to evaluate the overall oral health and to plan for dental treatments such as braces, implants, and extractions.
  • Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT): This type of x-ray uses a cone-shaped beam of radiation to capture three-dimensional images of the teeth and surrounding bone structure. CBCT scans are used to plan for complex dental procedures such as orthodontics, implant placement, and oral surgery.


How Dental X-Rays Work


Dental x-rays work by using a small amount of radiation to capture images of the teeth and surrounding structures. The x-ray machine emits a beam of radiation, which passes through the mouth and is absorbed by the teeth and bone. The amount of radiation absorbed depends on the density of the tissue, with denser tissue such as bone absorbing more radiation than softer tissue like gums.

The radiation that passes through the mouth is captured by a sensor or film, which produces an image of the teeth and surrounding structures. This image is then viewed by the dentist, who can use it to identify dental problems and plan for treatments.


Benefits of Dental X-Rays


Dental x-rays offer several benefits in diagnosing and treating dental problems. Some of the key benefits include:

  • Early Detection of Dental Problems: Dental x-rays can identify dental problems in their early stages, before they become more serious and require more invasive treatments. For example, x-rays can detect cavities before they are visible to the naked eye, allowing for early treatment and prevention of further decay.
  • Accurate Diagnosis: Dental x-rays provide detailed images of the teeth and surrounding structures, allowing dentists to accurately diagnose dental problems and plan for treatments.
  • Treatment Planning: Dental x-rays are an essential tool in planning for dental treatments such as braces, implants, and extractions. They provide a detailed view of the mouth, allowing dentists to plan for procedures with greater precision.
  • Monitor Oral Health: Dental x-rays can also be used to monitor the overall oral health of a patient, tracking changes in the teeth and bone structure over time.


Risks of Dental X-Rays


While dental x-rays are generally safe, there are some risks associated with them. Some considerations include:

  • Radiation Exposure: Dental x-rays do involve exposure to radiation, although the amount of radiation is minimal. However, patients who receive frequent x-rays may be at a slightly higher risk of developing cancer later in life.
  • Pregnancy: Women who are pregnant should inform their dentist before receiving any x-rays. While the amount of radiation from dental x-rays is minimal, it is still recommended that pregnant women avoid unnecessary exposure to radiation.
  • Thyroid Shielding: The thyroid gland is sensitive to radiation and can be shielded during dental x-rays to reduce the risk of exposure.
  • Allergic Reaction: In rare cases, patients may experience an allergic reaction to the materials used in dental x-rays. This is more likely to occur in patients with a history of allergies or asthma.

If you’re looking for comprehensive dental care in beautiful Calgary, Alberta, get in touch with 4th Avenue Dental Centre! Our friendly staff can answer any questions you might have about Dental X-Rays and other diagnostic technology we use.

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