This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)
Dental x-rays are a diagnostic tool that our dental professionals use to check for any decay lurking in the hidden areas in between teeth for patients in the Houston, TX, area.
What Are Dental X-Rays?
X-rays are one of the first tools used in determining whether or not any further repairs need to be made on your teeth, surrounding gum, and/or bone areas. Regular dental x-rays can often prevent dental pain, problems, and discomfort, which ultimately saves you money and keeps you healthy. Children tend to need more dental x-rays because their bones and teeth are still forming and developing.
Reasons for Dental X-Rays
- Find any beginning stages of decay
- Show decay that is not visible to the naked eye during the dental checkup, including decay from an existing dental filling
- Check for proper teeth spacing for children whose incoming teeth are growing
- Check for wisdom teeth and any space issues associated with these teeth
- Check whether or not baby teeth are being lost correctly, so that permanent teeth can properly grow
- Show changes or infections in the bone, root, root canal, tooth, or gum areas
- Find any abnormalities associated with cysts or tumors
Different Types of X-Rays
There are two main types of dental x-rays, intraoral and extraoral x-rays. X-ray film is inside the mouth in the intraoral x-rays. Below are the different types of intraoral x-rays:
- Bitewing X-Rays: This is to determine if there is decay in between the teeth. Bitewings show the upper part of a tooth, from its crown to the bone that supports the tooth.
- Periapical X-Rays: This is to determine if there is an infection, particularly in the tips of roots. Periapical x-rays show the whole tooth, from its crown to the end of the root.
- Occlusal X-Rays: Generally used in children, this is to see the whole view of the upper or lower jaw. Occlusal x-rays show the development of teeth.
The x-ray film is outside the mouth in the extraoral x-rays. Below is one of the most common types of extraoral x-rays:
- Panoramic X-Rays: Help determine if there are any lesions, tumors, impacted teeth that may need removal or repair, or teeth that are emerging. Panoramic x-rays show the full view of the jaw and teeth. Summit offices are equipped with 3D panoramic x-rays giving our doctors more clarity when diagnosing and providing dental treatment.
Through digital imaging, these images can be sent straight to a computer and seen on the monitor by your qualified dental professional, almost immediately after the x-ray is taken. Less radiation and little to no wait time make digital imaging x-rays ideal.
When to Get Dental X-Rays
Your dentist should always first evaluate your teeth and the surrounding tissues with a consultation before an x-ray is taken. Generally, children and teens will need x-rays more often than adults, due to the development of their teeth. This can be anywhere from six months for high-risk patients to three years. It is advised that adults get dental x-rays every year to three years.
Are Dental X-Rays Safe?
Dental x-rays are safe, especially with the technological advances that have happened over the years. Like every x-ray exam, dental x-rays will emit a small amount of radiation. If your dentist is using dental imaging, this amount is especially low. Every precaution is taken to minimize and protect against the effects of radiation. This includes wearing a leaded apron during the x-ray to cover the thyroid area down to the abdomen.
How Much Do Dental X-Rays Cost?
We are committed to providing quality, affordable care for you and your family. We offer a variety of payment options and accept most insurance plans. We also accept government assistance programs. Please visit our financing page for to find the best option for your situation.
Why Choose Summit Dental Center™?
Known as a “great dentist for kids,” Summit Dental Center™ has a reputation for providing a family friendly atmosphere and positive dental experience
- Uses a gentle touch to help put nervous and fearful patients at ease
- Bright and clean play area for children and gift bags – everyone loves gift bags!
- Offers ClearCorrect™ as an alternative to Invisalign®
- Quality care at affordable rates
- 7 convenient locations with flexible evening and weekend hours
What to Expect During Your Consultation
- All new cash patients receive a $25 initial consultation
- Your initial visit consists of x-rays, examination, and consultation
- Treatment options are discussed before any service is performed
- We make quality dental care easy and affordable
With seven convenient locations throughout the Houston area, we offer both extended and weekend hours to our patients. We are dedicated to providing quality dental service, so please contact us today to schedule your appointment and ask about our free consultations!