Why you’d need dental X-rays

Many people are wary of having too many X-rays done as overexposure to radiation rays has been known to lead to cancer and other illnesses. However, there are certain instances where your dentist will need to do an X-ray of your mouth to get a better look at what exactly is going on in there.

Is it safe?

Firstly, minimal exposure to X-rays is safe, and medical professionals will take precautions to ensure that you aren’t affected by the rays. Lead vests and metal neck braces are used to cover any vulnerable areas of your body, although the exposed levels are so low that they’re considered safe for children and adults. Pregnant women are exempt from having to take X-rays to protect the unborn child, as radiation is not considered safe for developing foetuses.

Children usually require X-rays

It is more common that a child would need an X-ray as a diagnostic tool for the dentist to see any underlying issues. Children’s teeth and jaws are still developing and their teeth are more likely to be affected by tooth decay and cavities as well as damage deep inside the tooth.

New patient

Most times dentists will do X-rays on a new patient to evaluate the current state of the patient’s oral health and investigate what is wrong and do a holistic view of the mouth teeth and gums.

A person’s initial X-rays will also act as a baseline to recognise any future abnormalities.

If a previous dentist has any radiographs of you, your new dentist may ask you for copies. Ask both dentists to help you with forwarding your X-rays, Mouth Healthy advises.

Hidden decay

For adults, X-rays are used to find decay between the teeth. Neglecting to floss usually leads to cavities in hidden, hard-to-see sections like between the teeth and behind the molars – X-rays make spotting these cavities easier.

X-rays are pricey and can cost you thousands of rand, so, signing up for dental insurance can be really beneficial. For a low monthly premium, you could be covered for all sorts of required procedures. Check out the options on Affinity Dental and find the cover that is right for you.

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