Things You Should Know about Dental X-Rays


When you visit the dentist, x-rays are one of the many methods your doctor will use to determine the state of your oral health. But what exactly do dental x-rays show? This article will cover things you should know about dental x-rays, how they help doctors detect issues, and how your medical records are kept safe and secure.


What are dental x-rays

A dental x-ray, more formally referred to as a radiograph, is a painless procedure that uses small amounts of radiation to capture images of your teeth and their supporting structures. The x-rays are generally used to look for cavities, bone loss or other abnormalities in your mouth. These high definition images help your dentist spot issues with your teeth that you may not notice or feel during everyday activities such as brushing or flossing. The main goal of a dental x-ray is early detection of potential problems so they can be addressed before they become serious issues that require extensive work. Here’s what you should know about dental x-rays You don’t need an appointment to have one: Your dentist will take digital images of your mouth using a hand-held device; no film is involved. In some cases, you’ll walk out with an image on a digital screen; in others, it will appear on film.


Why do we need x-rays

One of our vital jobs is to keep your teeth and gums healthy. We do that by performing regular exams, cleaning your teeth, treating decay, and helping you prevent future problems. But these procedures require us to take a close look at your teeth and gums. That’s where x-rays come in! If you need an x-ray for dental treatment, here are some things you should know


Who needs to take an x-ray?

If you’re at all unsure whether you need an x-ray, err on the side of caution. X-rays are completely safe and won’t cause any damage to your teeth. However, if there is an issue with your teeth or jaw joint and it’s causing pain, numbness or other symptoms, they can be very helpful in pinpointing exactly what is wrong.

Is it safe?

Dentists will tell you that dental x-rays are safe, but there are some things you should know. For instance, every single day children and adults are exposed to harmful amounts of radiation from dental x-rays. If it is really necessary to get an x-ray done, then we should consider ways to reduce radiation exposure as much as possible. So is it really safe?




How is an x-ray taken?

An x-ray is an image made using x-rays of your teeth and jaw. A dental radiograph, commonly called an x-ray, is a painless procedure that uses small amounts of radiation to make pictures of your teeth and jaws on film. The benefits far outweigh any risk of exposure to radiation.


Can the exposure be minimized?

Yes and no. A standard dose of dental x-rays is 0.0006 mrem, according to a 2001 report by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This may seem like a lot, but it’s only 6 percent of the annual radiation dose limits for members of public or 50 times less than a single cross-country flight per year.


Are there any alternatives?

Most of us go to a dentist every six months, and after they’ve checked our teeth and gums we typically hear three things: you need to floss more, you grind your teeth in your sleep, and lastly, let me take some x-rays. Are dental x-rays really necessary? Well, it depends on what you want to know.


The importance of yearly checkups

Before any dentist can spot a problem, they need to be able to see into your mouth. That’s where dental x-rays come in handy. No one likes getting an x-ray, but you really shouldn’t avoid them just because they hurt a little (the amount of radiation is far less than that from a flight from California to New York). The primary benefit of regular x-rays is that it allows dentists to spot problems with your teeth or gums before you even have any symptoms.