Dental X-rays: Why are they necessary at an orthodontic visit?

Although most people believe Orthodontic treatment is strictly for cosmetic benefits, we at VCO Orthodontics in Arlington, VA believe that with proper patient education we can help explain how the health of the teeth may also benefit from orthodontic care and why x-rays are important.

          One of the ways we check kiddos to see if there is enoug

 h space for the adult teeth to come in properly is using a panoramic x-ray. Not only does this allow the doctor to see the current teeth in the mouth, but it also shows the teeth developing that aren’t visible to the naked eye and gives an estimated timeline on where the child is in development. For adults, it allows us to make sure all the adult teeth have grown in properly as well and that all baby teeth are gone. Health of the roots of the teeth are also examined to ensure the teeth are moved safely during treatment and that dental work such as crowns are considered with movement and bracket placement, too.

          Another x-ray that an orthodontist will take is a cephalometric radiograph. These two-dimensional images allow doctors to look at how the upper and lower teeth meet in order to asses the bite. Along with the bite, doctors are also able to see the placement of the jaw and airways to best plan their treatment and the ideal results for each patient as well. Pretty cool, huh?

          If you’re worried about radiation received from either of these x-rays, no worries! At VCO Orthodontics we only update x-rays on an as needed basis PLUS our x-ray machines are such low radiation you no longer have to wear the heavy lead vest like before! Our goal at VCO is to make you feel as comfortable as possible, we will explain your treatment as best we can every step of the way, x-rays and all!

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