Why Do Orthodontists Use X-Rays?

Are you curious about the machines Hamer & Glassick Orthodontics use to achieve the smile goals of many people in Central Virginia? Are you about to start orthodontic treatment and feel nervous about the process? No worries! Whether you’re just interested in why we do things or looking for peace of mind, we’ve got you covered. We’ve already discussed how braces work and answered some orthodontic FAQs to encourage patient knowledge. Today, we want to answer the question, “Why do orthodontists use X-rays?”

What Are X-Rays?

Before we dive into the orthodontic uses of X-rays, let’s take a moment to understand what they are.

X-rays are a form of electromagnetic radiation. It’s like the light we see with our eyes, but with a much higher energy level that can penetrate the body to create images of the structures inside. These high-energy beams are particularly good at passing through soft tissues, which are less dense while being absorbed by the harder tissues like teeth and bone. This absorption produces an X-ray image, also known as a radiograph.

When you view a radiograph, you’ll see light and dark areas. The bones and teeth in your mouth are the lighter areas, while the softer gum tissues are the darker areas. This contrast is what gives your orthodontist a clear picture of your dental anatomy, revealing everything from the roots of your teeth to the bone underneath your gums.

Why Are They Helpful?

For your orthodontic journey to be safe and effective, X-rays are crucial. This technology helps orthodontists detect issues that may not be visible during a standard exam. Examples include the early stages of bone loss, the exact position of unerupted teeth, cysts or tumors, or how the breathing passageways are affected by your alignment. 

Suppose something is amiss under the surface, and you try to undergo treatment. In that case, you might worsen your oral health, damage the cosmetics of your smile, or have an unnecessarily complex braces experience! X-rays help to avoid this, making your treatment quicker and safer. 

For younger, growing patients, X-rays permit Dr. Hamer and Dr. Glassick to assess the development and growth of the jaw. The information revealed in the radiographs means our team can create a smile for your child that will remain flattering and functional as they age. 

In short, X-rays help our orthodontists determine when they can safely begin treatment for optimal results!

Why Do Orthodontists Use X-Rays?

What Type Of X-Rays Will You Receive?

There are a few types of X-rays that orthodontists rely on during the orthodontic process. Check them out below. 

  • Panoramic X-rays give a broad overview of the mouth, capturing an image of all the teeth in both the upper and lower jaws in a single shot. They’re handy for spotting emerging teeth, identifying impacted teeth, and evaluating jawbone health.
  • Cephalometric X-rays extend the view to include the side profile of the face. This type of X-ray helps orthodontists assess the teeth in relation to the jaw and side profile, providing critical information for planning treatments like jaw realignment and proper bite correction.
  • Cone Beam CT (CBCT) scans offer a three-dimensional view, allowing for a precise assessment of bone structures, tooth orientation, and the relationship between different oral tissues. This advanced imaging is invaluable for complex cases and surgical planning.

Using these various X-rays, Dr. Hamer and Dr. Glassick can ensure that every aspect of your treatment—from initial evaluation to final adjustments—is based on a comprehensive understanding of your unique oral anatomy. This commitment to precision not only enhances the effectiveness of your treatment but also contributes to a smoother and more predictable orthodontic journey.

Are X-Rays Safe?

Your safety is as important to us as the information X-rays help us achieve. The good news is, with modern advancements in technology, the amount of radiation used in orthodontic X-rays has been significantly reduced. Today’s digital machines use up to 90% less radiation than traditional film X-rays. Plus, we only take X-rays when absolutely necessary, so you’re already receiving the minimal possible exposure.

Even so, we still take extra precautions by using lead aprons to protect your body so that only your mouth is exposed to the X-ray beam. 

Our team understands you might have concerns and is always here to answer any questions you have about X-rays or their safety. Don’t ever hesitate to ask your questions or voice your thoughts! We want you to be comfortable and confident every step of the way.

Why Do Orthodontists Use X-Rays?

Improve Your Smile With The Advanced Technology At Hamer & Glassick Orthodontics!

At Hamer & Glassick Orthodontics, we pride ourselves on staying up-to-date with the latest technological advancements and treatment techniques. This dedication to continuing our education means our patients receive only the best care.

With our commitment to technology, safety, and patient comfort, you don’t have to wonder if there’s better care out there. Begin your journey to a healthier, straighter smile today by scheduling a free consultation with us! With a location in Charlottesville and Crozet and thorough yet quick appointments, we can easily fit into the busiest schedules. 
We hope to see you soon!