Dental X-Rays

Dental radiographs (X-rays) provide essential information not visible during a regular visual dental exam.  Dentists and dental hygienists use this information to safely and accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities and to complete an accurate treatment plan.

Dental X-rays may reveal:

  • Abscesses or cysts
  • Bone loss
  • Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors
  • Decay between the teeth
  • Developmental abnormalities
  • 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?

Dental X-rays  involve low level radiation and are considered safe.  The amount of exposure from a full mouth series of X-rays is equal to the amount a person receives in a single day from natural radiation in our environment.

Dentists take additional precautions to limit radiation exposure including the use of lead apron shields and fast speed film.

How often should dental X-rays be taken?

Each patient's individual dental health status determines the recommended frequency of necessary X-rays.  Your dentist and dental hygienist will recommend x-rays based on a review of your medical and dental history, a dental exam, any signs and symptoms, age consideration, and risk for disease.

A full mouth series of dental X-rays is recommended for new patients and is generally repeated every few years.  Bite-wing X-rays (X-rays of top and bottom teeth biting together) are recommended once a year to detect new dental problems.


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