Think back about the dental history within your own family. Did your grandparents have their own teeth or did they wear dentures? How about your parents? Are they missing any teeth? How many crowns, bridges and partial dentures do they have? How does this compare to you and even your own children? Generally speaking each of our recent generations has enjoyed progressively healthier, less-diseased dental lives. There are many things that contribute to this reality but one of the most important is the role of dental radiographs/x-rays and early diagnosis of disease. Radiographic/x-ray images are an important part of any complete dental examination. In the days before dental radiography dental disease often went undiagnosed until the ailment was painful, destructive, disfiguring, expensive and potentially life threatening.
Yes, radiographic images necessitate the use of an x-ray source, and yes, x-radiation sources used irresponsibly can be hazardous. Our office policies and procedures insist on a strict adherence to a minimalistic approach to radiographic exposure. The frequency at which your radiographic images will be obtained is custom tailored based on your individual dental health status.
Generally speaking radiographic images obtained for general dental purposes will be one of two types:
Bitewing radiographs provide images of the crown portion of your back teeth. They are captured on small rectangular sensor plates that go inside your mouth between the back teeth. In the days before dental radiographs, caries/tooth decay that started between the teeth went undiagnosed until lesions were large enough to cause pain or a fracture of tooth structure. Bitewing radiographs are wonderful diagnostic aids that catch caries in the early stages. Early detection leads to smaller repairs, less expense, less tooth stress, and stronger remaining tooth structure. The frequency at which bitewing radiographs are obtained varies from one patient to the next based on their dental history with regard to caries/tooth decay between the back teeth. On average bitewing images are renewed roughly once every 1.5 years.
Panoramic radiographs provide a wonderfully complete image of your entire head and neck area from the floor of your eyes to your mid-neck. All of the teeth, front and back, are visible in their entirety, the roots and the crowns. Your Temporomandibular Joints, maxillary sinus cavities and both jaw bones will be visible for comprehensive examination. In addition to general periodic evaluation, panoramic radiographs are often used to check on the status of wisdom teeth and/or orthodontic status. The frequency at which your panoramic radiographs will be obtained varies depending on your dental health status. On average panoramic images are renewed once every five years.
Dr. Davis is especially good with kids. And his staff? Helpful, compassionate, and caring. They take care of business for you. Thumbs up. 10 on a scale of 5.