Dental radiographs (x-rays) are essential, preventative, diagnostic tools that provide valuable information often 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?
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. We take necessary precautions to limit our patient’s exposure to radiation when taking dental x-rays. These precautions include use of Aluminum filters within the X-ray unit, lead apron shields to protect the body and use of DIGITAL RADIOGRAPHY that cuts down the exposure time of each x-ray, as well as cutting down on waste ,as radiographic developer and fixer require special disposal arrangements.
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 is 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 looking for problems that arise between the teeth ) are taken at recall (check-up) visits and are recommended once or twice a year to detect new dental problems, depending on the the patients specific need.