April 22nd, 2014
Before your orthodontist can put together a treatment plan to give you the smile that you’re looking for, he or she needs a full picture of your specific situation. This means being able to see more than just the parts of your teeth that are visible to the eye. Your orthodontist needs to be able to see all of the bones and tissue of your jaw, as well as the roots of your teeth. The most common way of doing this is the radiograph, or x-ray, as it is more commonly known. Although, additional x-rays may be required, there are two primary types of x-rays your orthodontist will take:
This is the x-ray where the machine spins around your entire head and shows everything in one picture. This shows the position of all of the teeth, including teeth that haven’t come through the gums yet. It also shows the bones around the teeth, including the jaw bones. Orthodontists need to look for extra teeth, that may not be visible, missing teeth, impacted or extra long or misshapen roots. They also look at the jaw for problems such as bones that are too large or small, too far apart or close together or off center. Seeing these things helps them to determine how to correct the problems.
This x-ray is of your profile. It shows not only the teeth, but also the skull and the soft tissue that make up your face. Remember, orthodontic procedures have to do with moving teeth, and sometimes bone, in a three dimensional space. This picture gives the orthodontist the ability to understand the relationship of the teeth to the jaw and also the relationship of the jaw to the skull, as well as their relations to the rest of the soft tissues. Having this image is important for the orthodontist to be able to make growth predictions in children as well as treatment predictions in both children and adults.
X-Rays During and After Treatment
Your orthodontist will probably need to take a number of x-rays over the course of your orthodontic treatment. Because much in the way of orthodontic affects the parts of your teeth that aren't visible, the same two x-rays will need to be repeated to show the doctor the changes that have been made to the teeth and jaw. This allows the doctor to see the progress of the treatment in order to determine how long the treatment needs to continue. Another common time for an x-ray is after braces are removed, in order to make recommendations for other procedures such as wisdom teeth removal.
Many patients are worried about the level of radiation exposure they receive when getting an x-ray, especially when they have to put on that heavy lead vest and see the technician leave the room. There is no doubt that excessive exposure can be harmful, but there is no reason to be worried about these few minor exposures during your orthodontic treatment. X-rays are only taken when it is in the patient’s best interest.
These X-rays are an important part of the primary step of your first consult with your orthodontist to get that beautiful smile that you know you can have. Visit our website at www.WilsonBraces.com and make an appointment for your consult with an orthodontist at Wilson Orthodontics today!
Wilson Orthodontics 1220 Sherwood Park Drive NE, Gainesville, GA
Why Does the Orthodontist Need to X-Ray?