Dental x-rays are an excellent diagnostic tool that help your dentist observe areas of your teeth and jaw that would otherwise be impossible to see with a visual exam. Besides helping detect cavities, dental x-rays can also help detect and diagnose gum disease, a tumor, bone loss, and more. X-rays are important for many reasons.
Many patients worry about the safety of dental x-rays. In reality, however, modern dental x-rays are safe and emit a very low radiation level. Many dental offices use advanced digital radiography, which is an x-ray technology that is much safer than the old-fashioned machines used in dental offices many years ago. Even though today’s x-rays are very safe, dental offices take many precautions to protect you from the smallest amounts of radiation.
Common Qs & As Patients Have about Dental X-rays
Q: I recently had a full set of dental x-rays taken at my previous dentist’s office. Do I really need a whole new set of x-rays so soon?
A: It is often possible to have your recent dental x-rays transferred from your old dentist’s office to your current dentist. This may eliminate the need to take a full set of new x-rays.
Q: Does everyone need dental x-rays?
A: Dental x-rays are vital to helping your dentist fully understand the clinical status of your teeth. X-rays are helpful for monitoring patients of all ages.
Q: Will I need x-rays every time I visit the dentist?
A: The frequency that your dentist recommends x-rays depends on a few factors. For example, many dentists request x-rays annually. Additional x-rays are helpful in monitoring developing problems. Or if there is pain, an x-ray can confirm a diagnosis.
Q: Is there anything that can protect me from x-ray radiation?
A: The amount of radiation emitted from a dental x-ray is very low. However, as an extra layer of protection, a lead apron is always placed over your body during an x-ray.
Q: Are there different types of dental x-rays or are they all the same?
A: Different types of x-rays are used to see various angles of your teeth and jaw. If you need anything other than the most common type of dental x-ray, your dentist or hygienist will explain the reason.
Q: What are the benefits of digital dental x-rays?
A: Besides being one of the safest ways to take a dental x-ray, digital radiography produces very high-quality images that can be seen immediately on a computer screen. It’s also easy for your dentist to transfer digital images to another dentist or to your dental insurance company if requested.
Q: How can I find out more about the safety of dental x-rays?
A: Anyone with questions or concerns about dental x-rays is welcome to contact us for more information. We are here to help reassure you about the safety of x-rays.