More than likely, you have had a dental checkup multiple times in your lifetime. So, you know a hygienist cleans the teeth and a dentist performs an oral examination. You also understand that either a hygienist or a technician takes X-rays during the visit. However, have you ever wondered just how important the X-rays are? Read on to find out more about X-rays and how important it is to keep up with your scheduled dental checkups.
When visiting a dental clinic, staff members all have unique roles and responsibilities. The front desk person schedules appointments and bills insurance companies. A hygienist cleans a patient’s teeth and usually takes X-rays. A dentist assesses a person’s teeth and gums to check for any problems that need addressing. Every aspect of a dental checkup is vital to a person’s oral health, including the X-rays.
The type of equipment used today to take X-rays is different from even a few years ago. Using a full scan of a patient’s mouth from side-to-side, a dentist gets a close-up view of current or potential issues. Many dentists also use a handheld X-ray device during a dental checkup. That way, they can focus on something in more detail or use the imaging to assist them while performing a procedure.
Thanks to advances in X-ray technology, dentists can identify problems much earlier than before. Since dentists cannot detect some forms of oral disease with the naked eye, they must rely on X-ray equipment. Without it, a dentist could overlook something potentially serious. Depending on the type of machine used, some can detect the slightest trace of a rare problem at its earliest stage.
A dentist uses the X-rays taken during a dental checkup to identify things like a cavity, infection, and gum disease. However, the images can also show various types of tumors, both benign and malignant. Regardless of what shows up, making an early diagnosis and providing early treatment are the keys to success. Simply put, X-rays are an essential part of good oral care.
While some patients worry about exposure to radiation, they need to understand that the level emitted with the X-rays taken during a dental checkup is minuscule. Not only that, but dentists must adhere to set industry safety standards. So, when having X-rays done at a dental clinic, there is no risk. Instead, this works as a powerful tool to help dentists serve their patients.
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