X-ray images, also called dental radiographs, are amoung the most valuable tools a dentist has for keeping your mouth healthy. Dental radiographs are an essential, preventative, diagnostic tools that provide valuable information not visible during a regular dental exam. Dentists 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?
We are all exposed to natural radiation in our environment. The amount of radiation exposure from a full mouth series of x-rays is equal to the amount a person receives in a single day from natural sources.
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, fast film that cuts down the exposure time of each x-ray.
How often should dental x-rays be taken?
Even though no X-ray can be considered routine, many people require X-ray's on a regular basis so that their dental condition can be monitored. Exactly how often this happens will depend on your medical and dental history and current condition. Some people may need X-rays more often than others. A full mouth series of dental x-rays is a must for all of our 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.