As your top oral surgeon in Tampa, FL, we provide the highest level of individualized oral surgical care. To do so, we must get a comprehensive picture of your current oral health. X-rays allow us to do just that. As we review X-rays, we are able to see the whole tooth, including its root to identify problem areas that require attention, such as impacted teeth or tooth decay, so that Dr. Valiente can diagnose and recommend treatment.
What’s an X-ray?
X-rays are images that we take to get an accurate view of your teeth and bones. They are pictures that bring to light oral problems that we often can not see with the naked eye.
Are dental X-rays safe?
Yes! Of course they’re safe! While moderation is important, as is the case with most medical procedures, occasional X-rays are not dangerous for most patients.
All of our X-rays at Center for Oral Surgery and Dental Implants are low level digital radiography, requiring only 21 milliseconds, an exposure equivalent to being in the sunlight for 2 hours. Since a low level of radiation is present, some patients, such as pregnant women, should avoid X-rays. If you have a thyroid condition, we have specially designed collars for your protection.
What kinds of X-rays do you use?
We use a panoramic X-ray to view your entire mouth in preparation for wisdom tooth removal procedures, implant placement surgeries, and other necessary procedures.
Full mouth X-rays and or panoramic X-rays are taken by your general dentist every 3 years, as is covered by most insurance carriers. We use this panoramic X-ray if they’re recent and done adequately for an oral surgeon. We may need to take additional images to see what’s under your gums, as there are many types of wisdom teeth impactions—mesial (are partially erupted/angular), vertical (can cause overcrowding), horizontal (move sideways into the adjacent tooth), and distal (are angled toward the back of the mouth).
You may be wondering about bitewings, the annual X-ray taken by your general dentist, and if we can use those to evaluate your mouth in preparation for your oral surgery. We will consider these images, but they do not always show the full root as the dentist is typically looking for dental decay above the gum line. Bitewings are not thorough enough for the treatment you’re having done.
What about CT scans?
When it comes to placing dental implants, absolute precision is necessary. That’s when we use our CT scanner which allows Dr. Valiente to determine the exact measurement needed for placement of your dental implants.
Like X-rays, CT scans use a small, targeted amount of radiation, only what’s absolutely necessary to create a detailed image of the oral area in question. And the risk of developing cancer from a CT scan is so low that it can’t be reliably measured. We use CT scans only when the potential benefit to your health heavily outweighs any potential risk. You are in safe hands with us.
At Center for Oral Surgery and Dental Implants, rest assured your safety is our top concern. If you have further questions about X-rays, please schedule an appointment with us. We’d be happy to discuss them more in-depth with you when you come into our office.