825 S Waukegan Rd, Lake Forest, IL 60045

dentist takes xrays

Why does my Lake Forest Dentist take X-Rays?


Whether you’re seeing your dentist in Lake Forest for a regular check-up, or you have a problem with your teeth or mouth, your dentist will first perform a visual exam to assess your oral state. Just looking at your teeth, though, doesn’t always give all the answers or tell the full story. X-rays can help your dentist gather more information. Keep reading as we explain why we take X-rays during appointments at Lake Forest Smiles.

Why are dental X-rays important?

Simply put, X-rays can help your dentist see possible decay, disease or problems that are not visible to the naked eye. These X-rays give your dentist a more complete picture of the state of your oral health. X-rays show more than just the visible portion of your tooth, above the gum line. They also allow your dentist to see and assess the roots, jaw placement and facial bone composition.

What do dental X-rays show?

When evaluated by a trained and experienced dentist, X-rays can show evidence of the following issues:

  • Small areas of decay between teeth
  • Decay beneath existing fillings
  • Cysts or other tumors
  • Evidence of periodontal disease from bone loss in the jaw
  • Tooth positions to assess needed dental interventions, such as implants, orthodontic treatment or dentures
  • A dental abscess

When are X-rays needed?

Each patient’s oral health is unique. A patient that has a recently diagnosed oral disease may need to have x-rays performed every six months, while a patient with little to no history of dental intervention may only need X-rays once every few years. Generally speaking, if you’re seeing the dentist once every six months for a check-up, as recommended by the American Dental Association, we recommend taking a new set of dental X-rays at least once a year. This helps maintain a consistent record of your oral condition.

What types of X-rays does a dentist take?

The three most common types are bitewing, periapical and panoramic. Bitewing x-rays are performed to see early signs of decay between the back teeth in your mouth. Periapical x-rays are used for your dentist to focus on the entire structure of just one or two teeth. Finally, a panoramic x-ray captures the entire mouth in one image. This can help your dentist diagnose cysts, jaw disorders or irregularities in your bones.

Are dental x-rays safe?

Most people know that x-rays do expose you to very low levels of radiation, but the harmful effects associated with this low level is also low. The American Dental Association states that dental x-rays are perfectly safe. If you are still concerned, you are always welcome to ask for a lead apron as an added layer of protection. Moreover, digital X-ray machines emit a fraction of the radiation as compared to traditional X-ray technology.

Digital dental X-rays in Lake Forest

We believe the benefits of dental x-rays far outweigh the risks. The images produced are a vital diagnostic tool that give your dentist the best opportunity to find and treat any possible issue proactively. At Lake Forest Smiles, we use the Dexis Digital X-ray System. This state-of-the-art technology produces images of a high quality that immediately can be uploaded into our system and, more importantly, can be taken with up to 90% less radiation.

To find out more about the Dexis Digital X-ray System or any of the other technology we use at Lake Forest Smiles to provide quality dental care, feel free to contact us. Schedule an appointment or a tour of our facility. Just visit us online or call us at (847) 234-4800.

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