June 23rd, 2020

So what is the value of a radiograph (x-ray) anyway?

Allow me to explain. When patients come in for an exam, Dr. Griffith is evaluating what he can see with the naked eye. He is also using radiographs to see what could potentially be hiding underneath an old filling or crown, or even the root structure of a tooth within the bone. There are various types of radiographs we take to evaluate specific things. Here are a few examples:

  • Intra-oral periapical radiographs are used to see the entire root structure of the tooth, including the apex (end of the root). These are useful in identifying decay, resorption of internal root structure, and any indication of infection at the end of the root.
  • Bitewing radiographs are used to check between the teeth (where we floss) to check for decay and also to evaluate the bone levels, or the height of the bone, which may reveal boneloss indicating possible periodontal (gum) disease or vertical root fracture.
  • Panoramic radiograph is used (this is the one where you stand in the machine and the machine slowly rotates around your head) to evaluate for any type of pathology in your jaw. We can see your jaw joints, a portion of your sinuses, the trigeminal nerve (a very important nerve bundle we need to see in dentistry), and all your teeth.

Sometimes when there is something in question on a tooth, we may be required to take another radiograph at a different angle to further evaluate a tooth. An example would be below. These two images are the same tooth on the same day and they both look completely different. Angles.

So if you feel like you might be overdue for your exam or radiographs, please give us a call. Even if you are not certain of when your last exam with us. We can look it up and let you know if you are due.

Thank you to Tiffany, one of Dr. Bryan's assistants for this informative blog.

April 16th, 2019

Why are dental x-rays necessary?

Bitewing X-rays, commonly taken during routine dental visits, can show cavities starting to develop between your teeth, as well as bone loss due to gum (periodontal) disease, while periapical X-rays are used to diagnose an abscess or a cyst, and to disclose changes to the roots of the teeth and surrounding bone.

What Problems Can Dental X-Rays Detect?

In adults, dental X-rays can be used to:

  • Show areas of decay that may not be visible with an oral exam, especially small areas of decay between teeth
  • Identify decay occurring beneath an existing filling
  • Reveal bone loss that accompanies gum disease
  • Reveal changes in the bone or in the root canal resulting from infection
  • Assist in the preparation of tooth implants, braces, dentures, or other dental procedures
  • Reveal an abscess (an infection at the root of a tooth or between the gum and a tooth)

How Often Should Teeth Be X-Rayed?

X-ray frequency is not a one size fits all guideline. Our office takes into consideration several factors when determining how often x-rays are necessary for each patient, for example:

  1. Is there current gum disease or history of gum disease?
  2. Is the patient at high risk for decay?
  3. Does the patient have a lot of restorations present that might make them susceptible to recurrent decay?

According to WebMD , the frequency of getting X-rays of your teeth often depends on your medical and dental history and current condition. Some people may need X-rays as often as every six months; others with no recent dental or gum disease and who visit their dentist regularly may get X-rays only every couple of years. If you are a new patient, Dr. Bryan will want X-rays as part of the initial exam and to establish a baseline record from which to compare changes that may occur over time.

If you can't remember the last time you had dental x-rays, you might be overdue! Contact us today for an appointment.

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