Why do I need an X-ray as part of my dental exam, and are they safe for children and those who are pregnant?

Dr. Hinze said X-rays are an important tool to diagnose and effectively treat dental problems. And with advances in radiation technology, X-rays are safe for everyone.

“Most X-rays today are digital, which cuts down on the amount of radiation,” Dr. Hinze said.

Digital X-rays produce radiation at levels 70-80 percent less than traditional film X-rays.

Gone are the days when patients had to bite down on awkward papers that often caused discomfort inside the mouth. Now, Dr. Hinze and his staff place a sensor inside patients’ mouths. The sensor receives images of the teeth and can be moved around the mouth to capture images from different angles. The results are available in a few seconds.

Dr. Hinze recommends that patients have an X-ray at least once a year, especially for those who are prone to cavities, to help diagnose possible tooth decay between teeth, an area that can’t be seen just by looking inside the mouth. X-rays can also help diagnose problems developing in the gums.

Panoramic and 3-D X-rays are available at Dr. Hinze’s office to make diagnosis and treatment even more effective. He said the 3-D X-rays allow him to measure the width and volume of a tooth or bone, which is helpful when placing implants.

“It makes us able to predict outcomes better and helps us with diagnosis,” Dr. Hinze said of the 3-D X-rays.

While in the past, X-rays often caused concern because of radiation levels, it’s not a problem anymore. Hinze said the X-rays are safe for children and even pregnant women in their third trimester.

If you haven’t had an X-ray of your teeth and mouth for a while, please call us to schedule an appointment for an exam and X-ray today at (308) 995-5331.