Dental x-rays are an essential tool to determine your general oral health and identify problems before they become too serious.
What is a dental x-ray?
Firstly, to explain what a dental x-ray actually is. Also called radiographs, intra-oral x-rays (those taken inside the mouth) are images that allow your dentist to examine your teeth, tissues and bones in and around the mouth. The x-ray process is quick and pain-free giving results that the dentist can view immediately and talk through with you.
What can dental x-rays show?
It is normal for your dentist to x-ray your teeth on a regular basis. Dependent on your circumstances, this could be every 2 years or more frequently if issues have been previously identified. X-rays are important because some problems, such as gum disease, abscesses, bone loss and certain infections, are not discernible by the usual visual checks.
Are dental x-rays safe?
Although the process of taking an x-ray involves radiation, the levels are very low and any risk of harmful effects is extremely small. For comparison; a normal set of two small images of your back teeth would involve the same amount of radiation as about 6 hours of the radiation that you receive from the environment around you all the time. Your dentist will always be happy to discuss the benefits versus the risks of dental radiographs with you.
As ever, we are here to help, so please let us know if you have any questions about x-rays or any other aspect of your oral care.