Dental radiographs (x-rays) are essential as preventative and diagnostic tools to provide valuable information to the dentist that are not visible during a regular dental exam. Dentists and dental hygienists use this information to safely and accurately detect hidden dental decay, dental abnormalities, and complete our accurate treatment plan. Without getting routine x-rays, problem areas may go undetected.
Dental x-rays may reveal:
– Abscesses or cysts
– Bone loss
– Cancerous and non-cancerous tumours
– Decay between the teeth
– Developmental abnormalities
– Poor tooth and root positions
– Problems inside a tooth or below the gum line
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. Although dental x-rays are considered safe, we still take the necessary precautions to limit the patient’s exposure to radiation when taking dental x-rays. These precautions include using a lead apron shield to protect the body and using the latest technology and fast film that cuts down the exposure time of each x-ray.
How often should dental x-rays be taken?
The need for dental x-rays depends on each patient’s individual dental health needs. Typically 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) are taken at regular check-up visits and are recommended once or twice a year to detect new dental problems.