Dental X–rays are images taken of the inside of a patient‘s mouth. They are typically taken by dentists to diagnose and assess the condition of teeth and gums. They can spot cavities, weak areas of enamel, bone loss, impacted teeth, and other potential issues that cannot be seen with the naked eye.
WHAT ARE DENTAL X-RAYS?
A dental x-ray is an image that enables us to see underneath the surface of teeth and gums. These images can help us to see decay, infections, impacted teeth, bone loss and many other oral-related problems. X-rays use a very minimal amount of radiation, so they are safe for patients of all ages. Our goal is to provide you with a comfortable and safe experience when having x-rays taken.
WHY WOULD YOU NEED DENTAL X-RAYS?
The main reason you would need dental x-rays is because in many cases, an examination just isn’t enough. There may be a lot of things going on below the surface of your gums and we won’t be able to see anything without the help of an x-ray. Some of the different things that we can see on an x-ray include underlying tooth decay, root infections, bone loss and impacted wisdom teeth. For children, x-rays allow us to monitor development and growth of permanent teeth.
WHAT MAKES SOMEONE A CANDIDATE FOR DENTAL X-RAYS?
Most of our patients are candidates to have dental x-rays taken. Because we use such a small amount of radiation, the process is deemed safe and necessary for those coming into our office. However, we will always go over your medical history prior to recommending any type of x-ray procedure. This ensures that you are healthy enough to undergo radiation in the office.
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WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE DENTAL X-RAY PROCESS?
Our friendly team member will drape a lead apron over your midsection. We then place a tiny, comfortable device inside of the mouth and behind several of your teeth. Our x-ray machine is then aimed at this device and the image is taken. We repeat this exact process for all other necessary x-rays. Our team of experts will then review your x-rays to help in creating a unique treatment plan. We often recommend that x-rays be taken regularly and at most appointments.
Frequently Asked Questions
The American Dental Association recommends that patients have dental X–rays taken every 12 to 18 months, depending on their current oral health condition and risk for tooth decay and other dental diseases. Your dentist can help determine what X–ray frequency is best for you.
Dental X–rays are used to diagnose dental problems that cannot be seen during a regular dental exam. X–rays allow dentists to detect cavities between teeth and under the gums, as well as evaluate the health of teeth roots and surrounding bone. X–rays are also invaluable for detecting developmental abnormalities, cysts, and some types of tumors in the jaws.
Dental X–rays are very low in radiation and are considered safe for adults and children. Modern dental X–rays use digital equipment that results in even lower radiation exposure for the patient.
Depending on the patient’s dental needs, dentists typically take either intraoral or extraoral X–rays. Intraoral X–rays provide detailed images of individual teeth, while extraoral X–rays produce wider views of the entire mouth.