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How Dental X-Rays Work

A+ A- A Main Content Woman having a panaromic x-ray

Dentistry requires a wide range of tools, one of which is a dental x-ray. It is an essential diagnostic tool that allows professionals like Dr. Karlnelius Duhon in Lake Charles, LA, to see what’s happening inside your teeth, particularly under your gum line, which cannot be seen with the naked eye.

Dental x-rays can be used to identify a wide range of dental issues like cavities, gum disease, impacted teeth, and even oral cancers.

How Dental X-Rays Work

Dental x-rays use electromagnetic radiation to pass “x-rays” through an object, like your teeth or jaw. These rays are absorbed differently by different materials. Dense materials, such as bones and teeth, absorb more x-rays than soft tissues like cheeks and gums.

The x-rays that pass through the object create a black and white image on a special film or sensor behind the object being x-rayed.

To take an x-ray, your dentist will position the film or sensor next to the area being imaged, aiming the x-ray machine at that area from the opposite direction.

The machine sends a narrow beam of x-rays through your cheek and into your mouth. The x-rays pass through your teeth and other oral structures and hit the film or sensor, which captures the black and white image.

Types of Dental X-Rays

There are two main types of dental x-rays:

●        Intraoral X-Rays: these are the most common type and capture imagery inside the mouth, providing good detail to detect things like cavities, tooth development, bone health, etc.

●        Extraoral X-Rays: these are taken outside the mouth and are typically used to examine the jaw and skull. They are often used to identify problems like tooth fractures, impacted teeth, and even tumors.

Final Thoughts

We hope you learned how dental x-rays work and the types used for different purposes. Many people fear that x-rays are unsafe, but dental x-rays are generally safe. They do expose you to a small amount of radiation, but this amount is very low.

The risk of harm is minimal, and the benefits are monumental because they allow your dentist or orthodontist to fix a wide range of dental issues you may have,

Moreover, expert dental professionals like Dr. Karlnelius Duhon take good precautions to minimize radiation exposure and only take dental x-rays when necessary.

If you want to learn more about how dental x-rays work or about the best dentist in Lake Charles, LA, we highly recommend scheduling an appointment with Dr. Karlnelius Duhon at Duhon Family Dentistry.

You can book your appointment by visiting our website today.

Posted on Jun 12, 2023

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File ID 16590894 | © Tyler Olson |


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