We might also need to take X-rays to see what’s happening below the gumline. X-rays are invaluable for identifying impacted, missing or misplaced teeth and allowing us to see the shape and position of your roots and jaws.
Are dental X-rays safe?
Orthodontic X-rays are considered safe because they use very low levels of radiation. The amount of radiation you’re exposed to during an orthodontic X-ray is actually less than what you’re exposed to during a typical day.
Modern X-ray technology and safety protocols further help to minimise any potential risks, making X-rays a safe and essential tool for diagnosing and treating orthodontic issues.
If you have any concerns about having X-rays taken, don’t hesitate to talk to us about the risks and benefits.
Different types of X-rays
A bitewing x-ray is a type of dental X-ray that can help us to detect cavities and monitor gum disease. You bite down on a little wing-shaped device while an image is taken of your upper and lower teeth in a specific area of your mouth. It’s a quick and easy process that involves a tiny amount of radiation exposure.
A periapical X-ray is another type of dental X-ray that’s used to check individual teeth from top to bottom. The image shows the entire tooth, from the crown (the part you can see above the gum line) down to the tip of the root. Periapical X-rays can show us if the tooth’s root is infected, if there’s decay below the gum line or if there are any abnormalities in the tooth’s structure.
An occlusal X-ray shows us a broad view of your upper or lower jaw, so we can see how they fit together. They’re useful for checking the development of children’s teeth and helping us to detect issues like impacted teeth or cysts.
A panoramic X-ray takes a wide view of your entire mouth in one image. During the X-ray, you’ll stand still while a machine rotates around your head to capture the image. Don’t worry if the machine looks a bit intimidating – the process is totally painless and only takes a few minutes.
Cephalometric X-rays are really helpful during orthodontic treatment because they show us how your teeth and jaws are positioned in relation to each other. They take a side view of your head so that we can see the bones and soft tissues of your face and neck.
Cone beam X-ray
A cone beam X-ray uses a cone-shaped beam of radiation to capture a detailed 3D image of your teeth, jaw and surrounding structures. During the X-ray, you’ll sit or stand still while the machine rotates around your head to capture the image. Cone beam X-rays help us to diagnose complex dental issues.
We use our iTero scanner to take detailed digital impressions of your teeth and jaws. The scanner uses a special wand that captures a digital image to create a virtual model of your mouth.
The scan takes just a few minutes to complete, and unlike traditional dental impressions, there’s no need for goopy, messy materials that can be uncomfortable for some patients.
Best of all, we use your scans to show you a preview of your end result and a step-by-step of your transformation.