If you have been to the dentist and they have recommended getting x-rays, you may wonder why they do so. Other people will have a general idea, especially directly after the x-ray where they will show the images of their teeth. However, there are different types of dental x-rays that are done, each one for a specific purpose. Here are the various types of x-rays that a dentist will often recommend, and what these x-rays can show to help a dentist resolve dental issues that you are currently experiencing.
Why Do You Need Dental X-Rays?
The reason for dental x-rays is that a dentist can only see so much on the surface of your teeth. You may be complaining about pain, but in order to determine what it is, they need to see what is going on beneath. You could have roots in your teeth that are causing you problems, or they can see cavities that are simply not visible at the surface level. Therefore, the x-rays provide a dentist with the tools necessary to make a proper diagnosis and prescribed a very specific treatment that can help.
Do All Dentists Take X-Rays?
Dentists typically use x-rays, regardless of what their specialty is. It’s their way of determining what is going on in a very specific manner. Without x-rays, they can only go by the symptoms that you are experiencing. Even if they have decades of experience, the x-rays allow them to make a prior diagnosis, similar to how a doctor will be able to figure out what is happening to you inside of your body using the x-rays that are available at hospitals and other medical facilities.
Three Different Types Of Dental X-Rays
There are three different types of dental x-rays which are quite common. Most of us have done at least one of these before. Also referred to as a diagnostic radiograph, these are all done within the dental office beyond the waiting room. This will include a wall-mounted or periapical x-ray, a panoramic x-ray, and they cephalometric x-ray. Periapical x-rays are also called bitewing x-rays, the ones that you take when they place a T-shaped object in your mouth. Inside of those T-shaped is small film cards that have a specific type of film that will be in print when the x-ray goes through your mouth. The panoramic x-ray, also called a pan x-ray, is done with a larger x-ray component. It takes a full picture of the top and bottom teeth. Finally, Ceph or cephalometric x-rays. You literally sit in the middle, with a type of helmet on your head, and it will go around your entire head taking an x-ray as it moves. Depending upon what the dentist is looking for, or the type of procedure they are recommending, they will choose to do one of these x-rays to help them do that procedure.
Reasons For Taking Each X-Ray
Periapical or bitewing x-rays are done to look at just a few teeth in your mouth. These will be done on either side, typically to see where your cavities are if you need a root canal and a variety of other reasons. Panoramic x-rays are typically provided by orthodontists. This allows them to see how your teeth are now so they can create a proper prescription for the races that they will recommend. Cephalometric x-rays are done when they are trying to determine your bite, what problems you may have with it, and how they will be able to resolve your particular issue.
What Is The Most Common Type Of X-Ray?
The most common type of x-ray with a regular dentist will be the bitewing x-ray. That is because they are doing general dentistry and will specialize in fixing cavities, or putting crowns on teeth. Panoramic x-rays will be most prominent with an orthodontist that is going to provide you with braces. Finally, Cephalometric x-rays are typically provided by a dentist that specializes in malocclusion, a mismatch of a bite that you have which could be an underbite or overbite.
How Much Do X-Rays Cost?
A dentist or orthodontist will typically not charge you for an x-ray if you are going to have a particular procedure done. For example, if you are going in for a free consult with an orthodontist, they will provide a free panoramic x-ray so as to show you how they can help you with straightening your teeth. If you are going to a new dentist, they will often provide you with free bitewing x-rays that are part of the procedure that they are going to do which could be a root canal or fixing a cavity. A dentist that focuses on malocclusions may also provide cephalometric x-rays free of charge so that they can show you during your consult how they can properly line up your bite once they have provided you with their services. If you did have to pay for an x-ray, the least expensive is the bitewing x-rays which are usually no more than $50. Panoramic x-rays will be at least double that cost, and the full cephalometric x-rays are typically much more. Each dentist will have a specific price point for all of their x-rays, and by getting quotes from different dental groups, this may help you in deciding which one to use. We reached out to this dentist durham nc for help to verify the accuracy of these prices and we were surprised at how reasonable the cost for digital x-rays are.
Now that you know why dentists will take various types of x-rays, and how much they cost, you may want to consider working with one of these professionals. Whether you have a cavity, need braces, or you would like to fix an overbite, you now know what type of x-rays you can expect to get. These are essential to ensuring that you will get the best possible treatment. Whether you pay for these, or if they are part of a package that they are providing, they are going to help you get the best possible services from these professionals that can help you with the current dental issues that you are experiencing.