Before an oral surgeon performs a surgical procedure, he or she needs to get a comprehensive view of your present oral health. The specialist uses X-rays to see the entire tooth, including the root in order to identify problem areas needing attention like tooth decay or impacted teeth. Using the details of the X-ray and the physical exam information, the surgeon is able to diagnose and recommend the most appropriate treatment.
Are Dental X-Rays Safe?
X-rays provide pictures that reveal oral problems we often can’t see with our naked eyes. Often, patients ask if dental X-rays are safe. The simple answer is yes; they are of course safe, however, moderation is crucial. If done occasionally, X-rays are considered safe for most patients.
It is crucial you ask your dental professional about the risk of radiation exposure from X-rays. Make sure the office utilizes low-level digital radiography. That being said, patients who are pregnant should avoid X-rays. Therefore, tell the surgeon if you are pregnant in order to allow him or her to make the right decision regarding imaging. For patients who have a thyroid condition, most dental offices have specially fabricated collars to offer protection.
Panoramic X-ray is often used to view the entire mouth of a patient in preparation for extraction of wisdom teeth, dental implant placement, and other surgical procedures. There are, however, bitewings – those annual X-rays a general dentist takes. An Oral / Maxillofacial surgeon can still use them to evaluate your mouth during an oral surgery procedure. The surgeon will consider the images from those annual X-rays, though they don’t always show the entire root of a tooth because a general dentist is basically looking for decay that occurs above the gumline. Therefore, bitewings aren’t thorough enough to ensure an oral surgery procedure. Find out more about X-rays for oral surgery. Contact our OMS team for more information. Schedule your visit today.