Depending on your age, risk of disease, and symptoms, your dentist may recommend x-rays as an additional diagnostic tool. It is a test that can identify problems otherwise unnoticeable, such as damage to the jawbones, impacted teeth, dental abscesses, and caries between the teeth. Modern dental offices have equipment that reduces the amount of radiation to where it is almost indifferent to your health. Typically, the amount of radiation does not exceed the dose you receive when spending a day in the sun or a weekend in front of the TV. As a precautionary measure during x-rays, you may ask for a lead rubber apron. Pregnant women should inform the dentist about their condition, as in their case, x-rays can only be performed in exceptional circumstances.
More advanced dental offices are equipped with a Dental Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CT), which is a type of x-ray device for a more thorough examination of your oral cavity. The scanner produces three-dimensional images of dental structures, soft and hard tissues, and nerve paths that aids in better treatment planning.
Oral Cancer Screening
Early detection of any signs indicating cancer will ultimately aid successful treatment. For those reasons, oral cancer screening is performed during all preventive visits. Your dentist will assess the condition of your head, neck, lips, and all mouth tissues, including your tongue, looking for the appropriate signs and symptoms. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research suggests acknowledging the connection between tobacco and alcohol use in relation to oral cancer.