Demystifying X-Rays

Demystifying X-Rays

During your dental exam, Dr. Wise may suggest an x-ray to get a thorough picture of your dental health. X-rays are often misunderstood, and they tend to be feared and associated with negative health issues. At Wesley C. Wise DDS & Associates, LTD, we want to take the mystery out of x-rays and make sure our patients are comfortable with the process. Here’s some answers to a few frequently asked questions that should help familiarize you with this modern dental technology and make you more comfortable when an x-ray is suggested by your dentist:

Why do I need dental x-rays?

During regular appointments, Dr. Wise will visually examine your teeth and give them a deep cleaning. However, a lot can go on beneath the gum line or inside of teeth themselves that dentists cannot see without x-rays. While you might wonder why you need x-rays when there’s no outward indication that something is wrong, this tool can provide early warning of potential problems, allowing for treatment before they become much bigger issues. X-rays help Dr. Wise find issues like small cavities, infections, or decay in their early stages before they cause major damage to your smile.

How do x-rays work?

Dentists use x-rays to help diagnose damage and disease that is not visible during a regular dental examination. X-rays at Wesley C. Wise DDS & Associates, LTD are comfortable and efficient. Dr. Wise will make sure you are at ease in the chair, and you’ll wear a lead vest across your chest and lap. The X-ray machine is positioned alongside your head to record detailed images of your mouth. When the x-rays pass through the mouth, the teeth and bones absorb more of the ray than the gums and soft tissues, so the teeth appear lighter on the final x-ray image. Areas of tooth decay and infection look darker because they don't absorb as much of the x-ray, and this helps Dr. Wise diagnose dental issues before they become bigger problems for you down the road.

Are x-rays safe?

It’s a common misconception that x-rays are dangerous. While a small amount of radiation is involved in the process, it is very minimal and patients are provided with all possible protections, including a lead-lined apron to cover portions of the body that could be exposed to x-rays. At Wesley C. Wise DDS & Associates, LTD, you’ll only receive x-rays when necessary in order to avoid any undue risk.

If you have any other questions about x-rays or how they are used to diagnose and treat dental issues, the team at Wesley C. Wise DDS & Associates, LTD is happy to help. Give us a call today to learn more or to schedule an appointment for a dental exam.