Typically, annual X-rays are sufficient for most patients. These happen during your routine dental cleaning. Some patients may benefit from having X-rays taken every 6 months, this is particularly for younger patients. Beyond routine exams, we may use X-rays in the process of diagnosing any oral health concerns as necessary.
Dental Exams in Fairfax
Dental X-Rays & Exams
Routine X-rays are a crucial part of regular dental care. They aid in diagnosing and treating many oral concerns.
Digital dental X-rays are essential tools used for monitoring the oral health condition over time; digital X-rays are able to diagnose abnormalities and detect weak points in the enamel. They can also find cavities in areas that are difficult to see—between the teeth, for example! Provided as a part of every preventative care visit, X-rays allow us to stay ahead of developing conditions such as tooth decay, wisdom tooth impaction, tumor development, bone loss, and tooth infections.
What to Expect
What’s Included in a Dental Exam
Routine dental cleanings and exams are a necessary part of maintaining your oral health. We clean your teeth, take X-rays, and screen for oral concerns like cancer.
During your exam, we’ll talk you through each part of your appointment as we clean, floss, and remove buildup from your teeth and gums. Based on your exam, we’ll provide any recommendations for your at-home routine, too.
We’ll use scalers to remove plaque and tartar from places your toothbrush can’t reach. Then we’ll floss and polish. If needed, we’ll apply necessary flouride and sealant treatments.
After your cleaning, we’ll take X-rays to give us a better look at your teeth and jawbone. This helps us screen for hard-to-see cavities and any bone health concerns.
We’ll screen for oral cancer, receding gums, and any other concerns in your mouth. If necessary, we’ll recommend follow-up care or treatments.
The 3D Cone Beam
The cone beam is a type of CT scan that goes beyond typical X-rays. It provides a more extensive look at the structure of your jawbone as well as soft tissues and nerve pathways.
Our 3D Cone Beam X-ray produces a high-resolution, interactive mapping of your entire skull structure, including the jawbone, soft tissues, nerve pathways, and all of your teeth. With this imaging, we are able to identify abnormalities, visualize the oral cavity at any angle, and plan the positioning for dental implants.
Frequently Asked Questions
X-rays are another tool that help with screening for and diagnosing oral health concerns. There’s a lot that can happen below the gum line or inside your teeth that a dentist can’t see without using X-rays.
X-rays allow our dentists to
- Identify cavities
- See the roots of your teeth
- Assess your jawbone for abnormalities
- Identify periodontal (gum) disease
- Examine the status of developing teeth for children and teens
- Check for impacted wisdom teeth
- Identify tumors in oral tissue
X-rays are often covered by dental insurance for regular exams. Insurance coverage depends on your provider and benefits. We accept dental insurance and recommend contacting your provider before any procedure to ensure you are covered.
As a vast improvement from traditional X-rays, digital X-ray machines are able to produce quicker and clearer images while generating up to 90% less radiation! Overall, X-rays are incredibly safe and very beneficial in the field of dentistry.