Dental X-Rays

Jun 25 • 1 minute read

Dental x-rays are a useful tool for diagnosing decay and disease. X-rays can also show the position of teeth, roots, and bone which aids in treating conditions.  How often x-rays should be taken depends on your present oral health, your risk for disease, and signs or symptoms of disease. The tools and techniques in place to take dental x-rays are designed to limit exposure to radiation. If pregnant, make sure to inform your dental care provider as changes may be made to scheduled x-rays.  

Some common x-ray types taken at dental visits:

  • Bitewing: shows details of upper and lower teeth in one area of the mouth. Helps detect decay between teeth and changes to bone associated with periodontal disease

  • Periapical: shows the whole tooth from crown to root. Helps detect any changes in the tooth root or surrounding bone 

  • Panoramic: shows the entire mouth area including teeth and jaws. Helps to diagnose cysts/tumors and view tooth development

Radiation exposure in dentistry represents a minor contribution to the total exposure from all sources both man-made and natural. Below is a chart from the ADA showing exposure levels for different medical procedures.



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