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Dental X-Rays

Dental radiographs (x-rays) are an essential, preventative, diagnostic tools that provide valuable information not visible during a regular dental exam.  Dr. Carothers uses this information to safely and accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities and complete an accurate treatment plan.  Without x-rays, problem areas may go undetected.

Dental x-rays may reveal:

  • Abscesses or cysts.
  • Bone loss.
  • Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors.
  • Decay between the teeth.
  • Developmental abnormalities.
  • Poor tooth and root positions.
  • Problems inside a tooth or below the gum line.

Detecting and treating dental problems at an early stage can save you time, money, unnecessary discomfort and your teeth!

Are dental x-rays safe?

We are all exposed to natural radiation in our environment.  The amount of radiation exposure from a full mouth series of x-rays is equal to the amount a person receives in a single day from natural sources.

Dental x-rays produce a low level of radiation and are considered safe.  Dr. Carothers and his staff take necessary precautions to limit the patient’s exposure to radiation when taking dental x-rays.  These precautions include using a lead apron with a Thyroid collar to protect the body and sensitive tissue and using a digital x-ray sensor and system that cuts down the exposure time of each x-ray.

How often should dental x-rays be taken?

The need for dental x-rays depends on each patient’s individual dental health needs.  Dr. Carothers will recommend necessary x-rays based on the review of your medical and dental history, dental exam, signs and symptoms, age consideration, and risk for disease.

A full mouth series of dental x-rays is recommended for new patients.  A full series is usually good for three to five years.  Bite-wing x-rays (x-rays of top and bottom teeth biting together) are taken at recall (check-up) visits and are recommended once a year to detect new dental problems.

According to the ADA (American Dental Association) and the Oregon Board of Dentistry; a dentist would be violating 'Standard of Care' by diagnosing or providing treatment without 'current', diagnostic quality radiographs.  Dr. Carothers considers x-rays current for patients of record if taken within the last year and new patients if taken within the last 6 months. 


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