When you visit a dental clinic for a checkup, the dentist will probably do a number of things to see the condition of your teeth. One thing dentists do periodically is take panoramic x-rays. This type of x-ray is very different from bitewing x-rays, but it offers a lot of benefits, and that is why dentists use these. Here are several things to know about panoramic x-rays and the benefits they offer.
They Are Not Uncomfortable
Most people do not like the feel of bitewing x-rays. They tend to cut into the gums and feel very uncomfortable, yet dentists use these because they show clear images of a person's teeth. When you get a panoramic x-ray, you stand near a device and the device takes a picture of your teeth.
The picture it takes includes your entire mouth, jaw, joints, and nasal area all in one photo. It does not hurt, and it does not take long. When a dentist takes bitewing x-rays, it takes much longer because the dentist must take multiple x-rays instead of just one.
It Shows More Than Bitewings
Bitewing x-rays are great for dentists because they show a person's teeth very clearly, but panoramic x-rays show so much more than this. A panoramic x-ray shows clear images of every tooth, but it also shows a person's jawbone and nasal area. Because of this, dentists are able to see how strong the person's bones are and if the person has any joint damage in his or her jaw.
Dentists often use these when patients complain of problems. For example, if a patient is experiencing major jaw pain, this x-ray can help the dentist determine if the person has temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).
They Are Safer
In addition, if you are concerned with radiation exposure from x-rays, you will be glad to know that panoramic x-rays are actually safer than bitewings. In other words, they expose you to less radiation. The difference in the radiation level is around 40% less for panoramic x-rays than for bitewings. If you are trying to avoid any type of radiation exposure, you might want to opt for a panoramic x-ray instead of bitewings the next time you visit your dentist.
X-rays are extremely helpful for dentists. They help them locate problems when the problems are very small and minor, and this is important for keeping your teeth healthy. If you need to see a dentist, contact a clinic today, like Cornerstone Dental.