When you visit Seaman Family Dentistry for a dental checkup or treatment, Dr. Robert Seaman may use dental X-rays to evaluate your dental health and look for areas of decay or disease.
Why are dental X-rays necessary?
Unfortunately, not all areas of your teeth can be seen during a visual examination. The surfaces of your teeth that butt up against another tooth can only be viewed with the use of an X-ray, and this is a very common place for tooth decay to start. Also, the roots of your teeth and the bone which supports your teeth are hidden by the gum tissues in your mouth, so the only way to determine if decay or problems with the surrounding bone are present is to use X-rays. Waiting for these “hidden” problems to become visible or noticeable through symptoms is not a good idea. Often the problem is much worse and much costlier to fix at this point. Early detection is the best detection, and dental X-rays give us the tool to do this for you.
Listed are the types of X-rays used in our office:
- Panoramic X-ray:
This is a scan of the entire mouth and jaws. All of the roots of the teeth and the surrounding jaw can be seen on this X-ray. In our office, we take these every 3-5 years or when needed for a specific reason. With this film, teeth that have not yet erupted (come in) can be checked and monitored to insure they are all present and there are no problems. In addition, these films are also used to check for any signs of cysts or tumors as part of the cancer screening process.
- Bitewing X-rays:
These are X-rays taken on each side of the mouth, usually 2 per side, that allow us to see any signs of decay on the surfaces between the teeth and the bone level around the teeth. These films do not show the entire root section of the teeth, but each film captures both the upper and lower teeth in the area the film is taken. Typically, these are taken once per year during a routine exam and cleaning visit.
- Periapical X-rays:
These are X-rays that show the entire tooth including the root and the surrounding bone around the root tip(s) of the tooth. On a routine basis, we use these X-rays of the front teeth to check their health and check for cavities between the front teeth. Periapical X-rays are also used when there is discomfort in a tooth to help in diagnosing the immediate problem.
- Cephalometric X-ray
This is an X-ray used for orthodontics. The film shows the side view of the skull. Analysis of this X-ray helps the doctor plan the orthodontic treatment for the best possible result.
If you have any questions about dental X-rays in Lenexa, Kansas, please feel free to call our office or ask our dentist at your next appointment. We would be glad to help you!