During a dental checkup at the Mt. Vernon Center for Dentistry in Alexandria, we do a thorough inspection of your teeth and gums. But visual inspections can’t tell us everything we need to know, which is why we take x-rays.
For most patients, we update our x-rays once a year. They help us to make accurate diagnoses by showing what cannot be seen by the eye alone. Also known as radiographs, the images give us the total picture: not just inside your teeth, but the tip of the roots and the bone under the gums.
X-rays use radiation, but are designed to minimize patient exposure. Patients only get tiny amounts, making them safe. The latest generations of x-rays reduce radiation even more. Still, we take that the added safety measure of covering the patient with a heavy leaded apron and collar.
There are several types of x-rays:
- Bite-Wing x-rays give us a picture of the upper and lower back teeth. We can see how they touch each other and see if there is any decay.
- Panoramic x-rays give us the big picture: a view of the teeth, jaws and jaw joints, nasal area, and even the sinuses. These are especially useful if we think the patient may need orthodontics or a dental implant.
- Occlusioal x-rays show us the floor of the mouth, and the bite of the upper or lower jaw. They’re good for showing the development of children’s teeth, both the baby and permanent teeth.
Thanks to x-rays, we are able to identify and treat dental issues before they become more serious.
At the Mt. Vernon Center for Dentistry in Alexandria, we are committed to providing our patients with the best possible dental care. Our services include family and cosmetic dentistry, including clear braces from Invisalign. Schedule an appointment with us today.