Dental radiographs (x-rays) are an essential tool in diagnosing all types of oral pathology including decay, tumors, cysts, trauma and bone loss. It also aids the dental team in planning for procedures such as dental implant placement, tooth extraction, crowns, bridges, fillings, and dentures. The information gained from dental x-rays is valuable information that is otherwise not visible during a regular dental examination. X-rays are one of the greatest tools dentists have to detect and treat dental problems early to save you time, money, unnecessary discomfort, and valuable tooth structure.
You may wonder if dental x-rays are safe. The amount of radiation exposure from a full set of dental x-rays is about equal to the amount a person receives in a single day from natural sources. They produce a very low level of radiation. As with any radiation dentists take proper precautions to limit the amount of exposure each patient receives when taking dental x-rays. A lead apron is used to protect the body and the modern digital radiography system used in our office cuts down on the amount of exposure, further reducing radiation, time that is needed for each x-ray.
The frequency with which dental x-rays are necessary is different based on the need of the individual patient. Your dentist or hygienist will recommend necessary x-rays based on the individual situation of each patient. A full mouth series of x-rays is recommended on every new patient. Bite wing x-rays are taken at checkup visits and are recommended once or twice a year to detect new dental problems.