Digital Dental radiographs (x-rays) are an essential, diagnostic tool 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 to provide more accurate treatment. 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?
Everyone is exposed to natural radiation daily, it is produced in our environment. The amount of radiation exposure from a full mouth series of digital x-rays is similar to what a person receives in a few weeks from natural sources.
Dental x-rays produce a low level of radiation and are considered safe. Dentists take many precautions to limit the patient’s exposure to radiation when taking dental x-rays. These precautions include using shields to protect the body, using digital technology that cut down the exposure of each x-ray and most importantly, only taking x-rays when needed to diagnose oral conditions.
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 x-rays based on the review of your medical and dental history, dental exam, signs and symptoms, age and other considerations that increase your risk for disease.
A full mouth series of dental x-rays, including a panoramic is recommended for most new patients. A full series is usually good for three to five years. Bite-wing x-rays (show areas between teeth) are taken during recare visits and are recommended once a year to detect new dental problems.