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What Are Dental X-Rays and Why Do You Need Dental X-Rays?

March 12th, 2018


How Dental X-Rays Work

When the X-rays pass through the mouth, the teeth and bones absorb more of the ray than the gums and soft tissues, so the teeth appear lighter on the final X-ray image (called a radiograph). Areas of tooth decay and infection look darker because they don’t absorb as much of the X-ray.

How Often Should Dental X-Rays Be Taken?

How often you need dental X-rays depends on your particular oral health. But if you’re prone to tooth decay, your dental professional may recommend dental X-rays annually to identify weak spots and treat them before the decay progresses. Children and teens may need X-rays more often than adults because their teeth and jaws aren’t yet fully developed. Also, your dental professional will take X-rays before a procedure such as a root canal or tooth extraction.

Several other situations might require dental X-rays. If you switch to a new dental professional, they may want to take X-rays to help them become more familiar with your teeth and any problems that you have. A new dental professional might also ask your previous dental professional to send any old X-rays to have a complete history of your dental care.

What Do Dental X-Rays Show?

The images taken from dental X-rays provide your dental professional with valuable information about your teeth and gums and help him or her plan the best treatment for any problems that you have. Dental professionals can also use the information from an X-ray to identify infections, abscesses and even small cysts and tumors. X-rays can even help detect developmental abnormalities, such as impacted wisdom teeth.

The appearance of fillings and crowns on an X-ray depends on what they are made of. Some appear dark, and some appear light. No matter what type of dental restoration or implant you have, your dental professional can use X-rays to help identify any areas that need attention or adjustment.

Dental X-Ray Radiation: Are Dental X-Rays Safe?

Of course, the machines used for dental X-rays do involve radiation, but the amount of exposure is minimal, which is why studies have shown that dental X-rays are safe for most people in most situations.

In fact, measurements of the radiation in dental X-rays show that they are not significantly different from the radiation most people are exposed to in daily life from environmental influences. These might include frequent travel by airplane and individual appliances in the home, such as TV sets and smoke detectors.

Dental X-Ray While Pregnant

Although the amount of radiation in dental X-rays is quite low and the procedure is safe, pregnant women should refrain from dental X-rays unless they are necessary. But because pregnant women are at increased risk for gum disease, it’s important not to ignore a potentially severe dental problem due to fears about radiation exposure from X-rays. If you are pregnant and you require dental X-rays, your dental professional will have you wear a lead apron and a lead thyroid collar to protect vulnerable areas. In fact, children and women of childbearing age should wear protective lead coverings when getting dental X-rays. But there is no added risk associated with dental X-rays for breastfeeding women or women who are trying to become pregnant.

Types of Dental X-Rays

At Superior Dental Health, we take pride in offering high-quality dental care for the whole family in a comfortable environment. Schedule an appointment and experience the difference for yourself! For the Lincoln office call us at (402-477-5665), Omaha office calls us at (402-391-1047), and the Blair office you can call us at (402-426-3334) to schedule an appointment. Or if it's easier one can fill out our convenient online form.



March 5th, 2018

Every year, nearly eight out of 10 U.S. taxpayers get a refund.

The average refund is roughly $3,000, and while it can be tempting to use this money for a beach vacation or on a wild shopping spree, it’s important to remember that dental care is not only a wise financial investment but also an investment in your health.

How Do People Typically Spend Their Federal Tax Refund?

Despite the temptation to spend the money on something frivolous, most people actually spend their tax returns on personal finances. According to BankRate.com, “30 percent of Americans intend to pay down debt with their tax refund, 28 percent say they will save or invest it, and 26 percent have earmarked those funds for necessities such as food or utility bills.”

These statistics are reassuring. At SUPERIOR DENTAL HEALTH, we would like to think a percentage of tax return funds are being set aside for dental care, too.

The Importance of Dental Health

Nothing is more important than your health.  Spending money on your oral health now can lead to a longer and healthier life.

Poor oral health not only causes painful teeth and gums, but it’s also shown to have a connection to heart disease, stroke, and other inflammatory diseases. It can also be an indicator of other health problems. Research shows that more than 90% of all systemic diseases like diabetes and oral cancer have oral symptoms that can be diagnosed in its early stages by a dentist.

Look at it this way—a crown may cost $1,000, but you’ll have it for the next 20 years. If you break that down, that’s only 20 cents a day! That’s a small price to pay for good oral health (and pain-free chewing!).

A Wise Financial Investment in Your Dental Health

Spending a little bit of time and money on your oral health now will save you a lot of time and money in the future.

Dental care gets more expensive the longer it’s neglected. Brushing, flossing, and regular checkups aren’t costly, but when you don’t brush, floss, and see your dentist as recommended, you can develop serious dental problems like periodontal disease and cavities. More dental severe issues lead to more expensive dental treatment like dental surgery and dentures. It’s an expensive and painful chain of events.

What if you took care to avoid dental problems with routine trips to the dentist? You won’t find a better return on investment than that.

When you’re considering what to do with your tax refund this year, consider investing a bit it in your oral health. SUPERIOR DENTAL HEALTH is here to get you started. We offer new patients a New Patient Special*- exam, x-rays and cleaning for only $79!

Contact a SUPERIOR DENTAL HEALTH dental office to schedule an appointment.

*Valid for new patients only.*

February is National Children's Dental Health Month!

February 21st, 2018

Healthy Habits

Your child’s baby teeth are at risk for decay as soon as they first appear—which is typically around age 6 months. Tooth decay in infants and toddlers is often referred to as Baby Bottle Tooth Decay. It most often occurs in the upper front teeth, but other teeth may also be affected. In some cases, infants and toddlers experience decay so severe that their teeth cannot be saved and need to be removed.

The good news is that tooth decay is preventable! Most children have a full set of 20 baby teeth by the time they are 3-years-old. As your child grows, their jaws also expand, making room for their permanent teeth.

As soon as your child’s first tooth appears, it’s time to schedule a dental visit. The ADA recommends that the first dental visit take place within six months after the first tooth appears, but no later than a child’s first birthday. Don’t wait for them to start school or until there's an emergency. Get your child comfortable today with good mouth healthy habits.


A few tips for cleaning your child’s teeth:

  • Begin cleaning your baby’s mouth during the first few days after birth by wiping the gums with a clean, moist gauze pad or washcloth. As soon as teeth appear, decay can occur. A baby’s front four teeth usually push through the gums at about 6 months of age, although some children don’t have their first tooth until 12 or 14 months.
  • Until you’re comfortable that your child can brush on his or her own, continue to clean your child's teeth twice a day with a child-size toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. When your child has two teeth that touch, you should begin cleaning their teeth daily.
  • For children younger than 3 years, caregivers should begin brushing children’s teeth as soon as they start to come into the mouth by using fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than a smear or the size of a grain of rice. Brush teeth thoroughly twice per day (morning and night) or as directed by a dentist or physician. Supervise children’s brushing to ensure that they use the appropriate amount of toothpaste.
  • For children 3 to 6 years of age, use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Brush teeth thoroughly twice per day (morning and night) or as directed by a dentist or physician. Supervise children’s brushing and remind them not to swallow the toothpaste.


Here are the typical ages you can expect your baby to teeth at.


Meet Dr. Kight

February 12th, 2018

Everybody should visit the dentist twice a year, but some of us don't, because we are either afraid, don't have the time or don't know where to start when looking for a dentist.

Check out our new Blair dentist, Dr. Lauren Kight and see why she would be an excellent dentist for you!!



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