One of the most common procedures performed during a routine preventive care visit with MAC Dental is a digital x-ray of your mouth. Despite the fact that having x-rays taken is simple and relatively painless, you may still have some questions about them. Dr. McLauchlin offers a few important facts about dental x-rays and why they help keep your mouth healthy.
X-rays are a common diagnostic tool used in dental practices to allow the dentist and hygienist to examine the hard and soft tissues of the mouth that cannot be seen to the naked eye. X-rays allow for the identification of cavities, tumors, cysts, and other dental pathologies. The type, number, and frequency of x-rays is determined entirely by your oral health, age, and risk for disease. For example, a “low risk” patient with good oral hygiene and no history of cavities will have radiographs taken less frequently than a “high risk” patient with poor oral hygiene and a mouth full of cavities.
If you are a new patient at MAC Dental, we may take a new set of radiographs or have your old radiographs sent over from your previous dentist if they are recent. These radiographs allow us to determine a standard of care for your future visits and enable Dr. McLauchlin to evaluate the growth and development of your mouth.
Although dental x-rays expose patients to radiation, the amount is so small and in such a limited area that this diagnostic tool is completely safe for patients of all ages, including pregnant mothers. At MAC Dental, we use digital x-rays to dramatically reduce radiation exposure for our patients. However, if you are pregnant or think that you might be pregnant, it is important to let your dentist know so that we may take additional precautions to ensure the health of you and your baby!
If you have any further questions about the use of x-rays or their associated risks, please do not hesitate to discuss them with Dr. McLauchlin during your next visit to our Nixa family dentist office.