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.
- Abscesses or cysts.
- Bone loss.
- Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors.
- Decay between the teeth.
- Developmental abnormalities.
- 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, unnecessary discomfort, and your teeth!
Dental x-rays produce a very 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 filmless x-rays cut down the exposure time of each x-ray. If you have any concerns, please be sure to talk to one of our dental professionals.
The need for dental x-rays depends on each patient’s individual dental health needs based on the review of your medical and dental history, dental exam, signs and symptoms, age consideration, and risk for disease. In general, a full mouth series of dental x-rays is recommended for new patients and is usually good for 3 to 5 years. Bite-wing x-rays (x-rays of top and bottom teeth biting together) are taken at recall (check-up) visits and are recommended 1 to 2 times per year to detect any new dental problems.