Dental radiographs (X-rays) are essential, preventative, diagnostic tools that provide valuable information not visible during a regular dental exam. Dentists and dental hygienists use this information to safely and accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities and complete an accurate treatment plan. Without X-rays, problem areas may go undetected. During treatment radiographs are an essential "road map" for the dental team, allowing complete and effective results.
Dental X-rays may reveal:
Abscesses or cysts.
Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors.
Decay between the teeth.
Poor tooth and root positions.
Problems inside a tooth or below the gum line.
Detecting and treating dental problems at an early stage can save you time, money, and unnecessary discomfort!
Are dental X-rays safe?
We are all exposed to natural radiation in our environment. Dental x-rays are a very small source of exposure and are shown to be safe.
Dental X-rays produce a low level of radiation and are considered safe. Dentists take necessary precautions to limit the patient’s exposure to radiation when taking dental X-rays. These precautions include using lead apron shields to protect the body and using modern digital techniques that cut down the exposure time of each X-ray. Our office uses a very conservative protocol and uses radiographs only when absolutely necessary for proper diagnosis and treatment.
How often should dental X-rays be taken?
The need for dental X-rays depends on each patient’s individual dental health needs. Your dentist and dental hygienist will recommend necessary x-rays based on the review of your medical and dental history, dental exam, signs and symptoms, age consideration, and risk for oral disease.
A full mouth series and/or a panoramic film is recommended for new patients. A full series or panoramic film is usually good for three to five years in the absence of swelling or other symptoms. Bite-wing X-rays (X-rays of top and bottom teeth biting together) are taken at recall (check-up) visits and are recommended to detect new dental decay or calculus.