Dental x-rays are used by dentists to locate any hidden issues with the teeth that a normal dental examination would not find. Used to spot abnormalities such as decay, abscesses or even tooth and bone loss that could potentially go unnoticed until pain set in. Used in a check-up, this tool can give a more accurate picture of your entire mouth’s health in a painless, non-invasive way.
X-rays may need to be used to detect some of the following:
- Tooth loss
- Bone loss
- Decay between teeth
- Issues under the gumline or inside the tooth
- Issues stemming from bad root and tooth position
Are x-rays safe?
X-rays are a safe and non-invasive type of radiation that are regularly used in medical examinations. The amount of radiation is very low, roughly the same amount of radiation a person would experience each day.
Dentists who perform x-rays each day will be wearing a lead apron to ensure protection of the body and reducing the extra doses of radiation they could experience; however, this should cause the patient no alarm.
When should dental x-rays be taken?
Dentists and hygienists will recommend an x-ray based on their examination and the medical history of the patient. Usually, outward signs and symptoms will prompt further examination however age and increased risks of various diseases can also prompt investigation.
X-rays will be taken for new patients to get the fullest picture of their mouth health and these will be repeated every three to five years. Bite wing x-rays should be carried out once or twice a year during check-ups to help in the detection of any newer dental issues.