Posted By: Dr. Jason

One of the most valuable tools for us at Ambrosi Place Dental Care to help assess the health of your mouth is the dental radiograph.

 Why are dental xrays so important?

 - To look for decay between the teeth and under gums. These areas are not visible when we look in the mouth, and decay can easily go undetected without an xray.

- We are able to monitor the progression of decay. If the decay is only in the outer layer of the tooth (enamel), sometimes it is okay to watch these areas and recheck at subsequent visits. In some cases, it is possible that these areas of decay stay in the outer layer, and can even re mineralize with proper at home care. Once decay enters the second layer of the tooth (dentin), treatment is needed because this layer is a lot softer and decay can rapidly increase. If left too long, the decay will enter the inner layer of the tooth and affect the nerve – eventually leading to a root canal. This is why we like to take dental xrays at regular intervals…to catch decay early enough to be able to stop the progression.
- To check for bone levels/support around the teeth.
- To check for any abnormalities in the jaw bone that could potentially be cancerous.
- To look for infection/abscess around the teeth.

 How often are xrays needed?
- We treat each patient on an individualized basis and the frequency of xrays depends on the individual caries risk of that patient. Caries risk depends on history of decay, present decay, diet, saliva level, at home care, or stage of dental development of teeth.

Advantage of digital xrays
-about 70% less radiation than film xrays
-able to manipulate the image to increase visibility, brightness, etc
-very fast

Did you know, you get more radiation from a small plane ride, or from spending time outdoors than two digital xrays. Just living your life, you get more radiation than the radiation you will receive from routine dental xrays!

-Elissa, Registered Dental Hygienist.