Dental x-rays

What are Dental X-rays?

Dental X-rays are used to produce a clear image of the teeth, bones, and soft tissues inside a patient’s mouth. It is used to detect problems not visible to the eye, such as cavities, impacted teeth, gum disease, and infections.

Types of Dental X-rays

The two most common forms of dental X-rays are intraoral (taken inside the mouth) and extraoral (taken outside the mouth). Intraoral X-rays provide a detailed view of the inside of the mouth, while extraoral X-rays are used to provide a broader view of the entire jaw area.

  • Intraoral X-rays: Bitewing, periapical, occlusal, and extraoral bitewings
  • Extraoral X-rays: Panoramic, cephalometric, and cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT)

Preparation for Dental X-rays

Most of the time, no preparation is required before having a dental X-ray. However, some radiographic techniques may require the patient to remove jewelry, dentures, or other objects that may obstruct the image. Patients are usually asked to avoid wearing lipstick or any other product with metal content.

Procedure for Having Dental X-rays

The dental X-ray procedure is usually done in a dental office and doesn’t require much time. During the procedure, the patient will be asked to sit in a special dental chair and the dentist will place a film holder in the patient’s mouth. The X-Ray machine is then adjusted and focused on the area that needs to be examined. The patient is asked to remain still while the X-rays are taken.

Risks and Side Effects of Dental X-rays

Dental X-rays use a low-level of radiation which is generally considered safe. However, pregnant women should always inform the dentist before having a dental X-ray, as the radiation could potentially harm the baby.

Why are Dental X-rays Necessary?

Dental X-rays provide essential information that cannot be seen with the naked eye. They are used to detect cavities in between teeth and underneath existing fillings, determine the condition of existing dental work, help diagnose the infections and abscesses, plan orthodontic treatment, and detect the growths and tumors.

When are Dental X-rays Used?

Dental X-rays are used routinely during dental checkups, to help the dentist diagnose and treat problems. The frequency of the X-rays can vary from patient to patient, depending on the risk of developing dental problems. For example, children and adults with high risk of dental cavities may require X-rays more frequently, while a low-risk patient may need X-rays less frequently.