Dental X-rays are a useful diagnostic tool when helping us detect damage and disease not visible during a regular dental exam. How often X-rays should be taken depends on your present oral health, your age, your risk for disease, and any signs and symptoms of oral disease. For example, children may require X-rays more often than adults because their teeth and jaws are still developing and their teeth are more likely to be affected by tooth decay than those of adults. We will review your history, examine your mouth and then decide whether or not you need X-rays.
Dental X-rays are safe; however they do require very low levels of radiation exposure. We use a leaded apron which minimizes the exposure to the abdomen and the thyroid. If you are pregnant let us know. During pregnancy, you may need to have X-rays taken as part of your treatment plan for a dental disease.
FMX (or Full Mouth X-rays): These x-rays are very important for diagnosing cavities, checking bone level and making sure there is no pathology or dental abnormalities. It could be total of up to 18 films, which include your bitewing x-rays. The other films included show the whole tooth (root to crown).
Panorex: This x-ray is done in ALTERNATION with the FMX mentioned above. This x-ray is taken commonly to detect the presence of wisdom teeth, pathology, TMJ (jaw) issues and preliminary evaluation for dental implants. This x-ray is NOT used for detecting cavities.
BWX (or Bitewing X-rays): These types of x-rays are important for detecting cavities, especially in between the teeth which can be undetectable during a clinical examination. We can also monitor the progression of bone loss.