Ever wonder how the X-Ray machine at the dentist makes a picture of your teeth? X-rays allow dentists to see right through human tissue to examine cavities and the condition of your bones with ease. These amazing machines are a vital imaging tool utilized around the world to solve problems and save lives. But how do X-Rays work exactly? Here we give a short summary of how these incredible machines capture a picture of your teeth and allow dentists to provide superior care to patients.
Creating The Picture
When you have an X-Ray, radiation in the form of a beam passes through the soft tissues of your body and becomes absorbed by heavier atoms like your bone. As it passes through, it hits a sheet of metallic film that is set up behind the patient or small electronic sensor that is placed in the mouth. When the beam hits the bone or heavier atoms, less radiation passes through making the areas appear lighter. Since bones are rich in calcium that are a heavier atom, the X-Rays are absorbed and appear white on the image. But when the beams pass through soft-tissue or areas of tooth decay, infection, abscesses and cysts, they look darker because they don’t absorb as much as the X-ray.
Protecting Against Radiation
Did you know that different X-Rays deliver different types of radiation? For instance, the X-Ray machine found at the dentist emits low levels of radiation compared to other forms, like those used in CT scans. And because X-Rays use radiation, there has been concern over the health implications of them. It is believed that X-Rays can cause mutations in our DNA if exposed to high levels for a period of time. However, the risks to patients who are only exposed to minimal radiation are low compared to the benefits of medical imaging. So you shouldn’t worry when you visit the dentist, as they take all the necessary precautions to keep you safe.
Benefits of X-Rays
X-Rays provide several benefits to patients that traditional methods can’t achieve. For one, they are a non-invasive procedure that saves time on problem-solving. Without the need to physically enter a patient, an X-ray can be used to diagnose a medical issue or examine an area before performing procedures like implants and braces. They are also used to help guide the dentist when performing difficult procedures so they can get to the right spot. And X-Rays work to pinpoint infections in the bone or at the root, spot decay that may be lurking between the teeth or under a filling, and find advanced bone loss.
Dental X-Rays provide valuable information about the condition and health of your teeth. A dentist can find problems that can not be seen with the naked eye, ensuring you get the proper care for a beautiful, healthy smile. So never fear a dental X-Ray – it’s a safe procedure that helps guide dentists to providing you with the best oral care possible.