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.
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, unnecessary discomfort, and your teeth!
Are dental x-rays safe?
Digital radiography enhances the patient
experience and assists dental staff in numerous ways. For example, it
enhances a patient’s ability to understand problem areas, and empowers
them to choose the most appropriate course of action. First and
foremost, digital sensors are comfortable and unobtrusive. It reassures
patients that they’re in good hands. It also significantly lowers
radiation exposure and reassures patients that their safety is a top
priority. Digital radiography
enables staff to instantly evaluate and share X-rays with patients
immediately. It also maximizes their time—it’s as quick as positioning
the sensor and exposing the image. In short, what used to take us 10
minutes is now instantaneous
We are all exposed to natural radiation in our environment. The amount of radiation exposure from a series of DIGITAL x-rays is less than the amount a person may receive in a single day from natural sources.
Digital 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 sensors that cuts down the exposure of each x-ray.
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 disease.
A full mouth series of dental x-rays may recommended for new patients. A full series is usually good for three to five years. Bite-wing x-rays (x-rays of top and bottom teeth biting together) are taken at recall (check-up) visits and are recommended once or twice a year to detect new dental problems.