Dental Exams and X-Rays Are Important

If you want to keep your smile looking great and avoid having to deal with emergency dental work, you need to think in terms of preventive dental appointments. Regular dental exams, and X-rays when needed, will save you a lot of problems with your teeth and gums further down the road. During these exams, your dentist can keep a close eye on the health of your teeth, your gums, and your fillings, and get out in front of any problems before they become too serious.

What Happens at a Dental Exam?

Dental exams are usually performed every six months, unless you have an ongoing problem that needs more frequent monitoring. At a dental exam, your whole mouth is thoroughly examined. The dentist will usually take the following steps during your exam:

     🞹 Conduct a minute visual examination of your teeth, looking for inflammation, bleeding, and build-up.
     🞹 Take dental X-rays if it has been long enough for you to need new X-rays. The dentist might also take them if you have developed a new pain.
     🞹 Use a dental explorer to discover any problems you are not yet aware of.
     🞹 Answer any questions you have about pain or anything else having to do with your teeth or gums.
     🞹 Discuss any ongoing dental issues you have.
     🞹 If the dentist is conducting a comprehensive evaluation, or if the exam is related to a specific problem being examined, he or she will review                 your X-rays and discuss any future needs for dental work.
     🞹 If you are in for a follow-up exam after you have had a dental treatment, you might also undergo additional procedures that are unique to your           problem.

Pediatric Dental Exams

Many dentists recommend that you bring your children in for their first dental exams at 12 months of age, and that you schedule regular checkups every 6 months after that. It's best to start early, because by creating an early, positive relationship with dental staff and the expectation of regular checkups, you help your children establish good, strong dental habits that will protect their teeth and gums throughout their live.

Dental X-Rays

There are several different types of X-ray that dentists use to keep your teeth in the best shape possible.

     🞹 Full Set: A full set, or full mouth series, is what most dentists take during a comprehensive exam. It is meant to capture the current state of your             teeth, and is a combination of the panoramic, periapical, and bitewing types of X-rays.
     🞹 Panoramic: Panoramic X-rays show the entire mouth at once, including your sinuses and temporomandibular joint. This is the “big picture” X-             ray.
     🞹 Periapical: These X-rays focus on specific teeth, showing them in detail from the root to the crown. These X-rays can find problems that exist                 below the gum line and even in the jawbone.
     🞹 Bitewing: These X-rays show both the lower and upper back teeth in one single view. Bitewing X-rays are not only used to detect cavities and               infections, they are also used to check how well your back teeth line up.
     🞹 Recall: Recall X-rays are a combination of periapical and bitewing X-rays.
     🞹 Limited X-rays: These X-rays focus on a specific problem area of the mouth. They are usually used in emergency dentist visits, especially in                   late-night 24-hour dentist visits.

Then there is the type of equipment that is used to take the X-ray. Conventional X-ray machines use an old-fashioned kind of film that depends on a relatively high amount of X-rays being used. Digital X-ray equipment does not use film, but instead uses a digital image that requires much lower amounts of X-rays. At 1st Family Dental, our X-ray equipment is all digital.

Dentistry for Women Who Are Pregnant

Pregnant women should continue to go their dental exams every 6 months. In fact, it is particularly important to do so, because some of the changes that a pregnant woman’s body undergoes means that she is more susceptible to gum disease and other dental problems. Diagnostic X-rays also do not pose any risk to women who have a normal pregnancy. However, if you are pregnant or believe that you may be pregnant, you should tell your dentist at the start of the exam.

Dental Costs and Insurance Coverage

The cost of dental X-rays and dental exams varies, depending on a lot of different factors. Most dental insurance fully covers preventive care measures such as regular exams and X-rays. Talk to our staff before your appointment. They can help you minimize your out of pocket costs while maximizing the benefits of your dental insurance.

What If I Need an Emergency Dentist Near Me?

At 1st Family Dental, we offer dental exams and X-rays, and a full range of diagnostic dental services. We understand that sometimes dental emergencies can’t wait, so we see walk-ins as well as appointments.

Can I Bring in X-Rays from Another Dentist?

Yes, you can, both by bringing the X-rays in physically and by giving us permission to have them transferred from your previous dentist. Please understand, though, that transferring or copying your X-ray images can sometimes result in loss of image clarity, meaning that we still might need to take our own in certain circumstances. When you bring in your own X-rays, your dentist will review them with you and discuss any issues with you if they arise.

What If I Have a Problem with Taking X-Rays?

You are completely in control of all of your dental health care decisions at all times, so if you don’t want X-rays, you won’t have any X-rays. If you are concerned about the safety of X-rays, or if you are not sure if they are needed in your particular case, we encourage you to talk the matter over with your dentist. X-rays are a critical diagnostic tool in dentistry and having to do without them can make certain procedures difficult or even impossible. Your dentist will review your options with you and work out the next steps in your dental care plan. is the place to find the best dental professional if you have chipped or cracked tooth, abscess, tooth ache, emergency oral surgery, orthodontist or any type of mouth pain or teeth problems. We have the ultimate emergency dental clinics that can provide services you need day or night. Let one of our local dental providers take care of your teeth.
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