Regular dental appointments are one of the most important steps for anyone that would like to live a long and healthy life. Not only is impeccable oral health needed for a bright and beautiful smile, it will also help to protect the rest of the body from serious complications that may start to come up. For individuals that do schedule regular checkups with their dentist at least twice a year, one of the services that they offer is dental x-rays. This quick and painless component of the checkup has received negative attention in the past, but changes to the field of dentistry and this unique piece of technology make it oppressively safe, even when performed several times a year.
Brushing and flossing every single day will help to minimize one's chances of being diagnosed with any number of typical ailments that take place in the mouth. Without these steps, plaque and tartar will start to buildup on the teeth and gums. If this goes untreated, they will produce bacteria and acids that will attack the teeth and gums and lead to cavities, oral diseases, and conceivably even tooth loss. In addition to brushing and flossing, it is essential for patients to seek out professional dental cleaning every six months, but this will not prevent every oral health complication in all individuals. In order to keep one's teeth and mouth as healthy as possible, patients will need x-rays to catch any ailments in their earliest stages for the best chance at treatment.
X-rays are used to catch any problems with the teeth, gums, and jaws. This includes deterioration of the bones surrounding the teeth, cavities, and other types of decay. Even with thorough visual examinations, some of the most devastating oral health issues are impossible to catch without these advanced images. Luckily, x-rays are now safer than ever and all patients should seek out dental x-rays at multiple points throughout their life.
One of the key changes that have made x-rays extremely safe is the duration of exposure that the individual will require. Changes to film, the cone, the size of the beam, and digital radiography have reduced the amount of exposure by as much as 90 percent in some situations. This allows the dentist to get accurate images while significantly limiting the chances of any side effects.
All x-ray machines also need regular inspections by state and federal officials that check them for any defects that could possibly cause problems. Individuals will be given lead shields as well to minimize the area of exposure. With all of these safeguards in place, there is nearly no chance of a dangerous side effect, and everyone should discuss the use of dental x-rays with their local dentist.
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