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403 W. Nye Lane, Ste A Carson City, NV 89706 | Get Directions
Call to Schedule! - (775) 400-2533

Tuesdays with the Team


Why do I need x-rays, and how safe are they?

In the past we have discussed how digital x-rays are different from traditional x-rays, and how safe they are. However, they continue to be an area of concern for patients, so it is worth reviewing. Doctors cannot make complete diagnostic decisions based off visual exams alone. Therefore, x-rays are a vital part of your treatment. X-rays can detect even the slightest traces of oral health problems at their earliest stages, such as cavities, gum disease, oral infections, and some types of tumors.

X-rays are energy in the form of waves, identical to visible light. In fact, the only difference between light and x-rays is that light doesn’t have enough energy to go through your body and x-rays do. Our patients often ask us about exposure to radiation and x-rays. The National Council on Radiation Protection (NCRP) says the average resident in the U.S. receives 360 mrem every year from sources such as radioactive materials in the earth, and in the food we consume. Other sources of exposure are from smoke detectors, living in a brick house, cooking with natural gas, and even flying in an airplane. A typical dental x-ray exposes you to only about 2 or 3 mrem.

At Advanced Dentistry by Design in Carson City, we have several x-ray units available for prevention and diagnostic purposes. A full mouth series (FMX) consists of 14-21 x-rays, and is taken every 3-5 years depending on the patient’s needs and history. Bitewings (4) are usually taken once a year and are called “check-up x-rays.” They are used to check for decay between the teeth. They also help to detect infection and bone loss from a severe gum infection.

We have recently installed a Galileos 3D cone beam CT scanner in our dental office. This x-ray scanner helps the doctors look through layers of bone, measure bone for implant placement, and can also be used as a tool for making surgical guides for more precise implant placement. The CT scanner additionally shows a broad view of the jaws, teeth, nasal/sinus areas, and TMJ joints. These do not detect cavities, but do show potential problems such as impacted teeth, bone abnormalities, cysts, infections and fractures.

As always, your comfort and safety are our primary concern and every precaution will be taken such as wearing a lead apron to protect the rest of your body from exposure. Call us today at (775) 400-2533 to schedule your exam and x-rays with Dr. Clint Euse, Dr. Kelly Euse, Dr. Randy Wright, and Dr. Matt Lisenby. We look forward to smiling with you!

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