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Dental radiographs (x-rays) are used to safely and accurately identify hidden dental abnormalities, which can then be diagnosed and treated. Without x-rays, preventable dental problems may go undetected.
What Dental X-Rays show:
- Problems below the gum line or inside a tooth.Abscesses or cysts.
- Abnormal tooth and root positions.
- Bone loss.
- Benign and malignant tumors.
- Decay between the teeth.
- Developmental abnormalities.
Dental problems that are discovered at an early stage can be treated before they worsen, saving you time, money, unnecessary pain, and your teeth!
How Safe are Dental X-Rays?
Dental x-rays are considered safe due to the low level of radiation they produce. Our environment is filled with natural sources of radiation. The amount of radiation exposure from a full mouth series of x-rays is equal to the amount of radiation a person is naturally exposed to in a single day. When taking x-rays, dentists are committed to limiting their patient’s exposure to radiation. Dental x-rays use modern, fast film that reduces the exposure time of each x-ray. Additionally, patients are given lead apron shields to shelter the body from radiation.
Each patient has unique dental health circumstances, which dictate their need for dental x-rays. Your dentist and dental hygienist will consider factors such as your age, medical and dental history, signs and symptoms, risk for disease and the results of your dental exam when determining the immediate necessity of an x-ray.
During your first appointment, your dentist should arrange a full mouth series of dental x-rays. A full series can usually be used for three to five years. Bite-wing x-rays (x-rays showing the top and bottom teeth biting together) are taken once or twice a year at recall (check-up) visits and are necessary to identify new dental problems.