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What are dental x-rays used to detect?

Dental x-rays show your dentist problems that they cannot detect by examining the surface of your mouth. These problems include:

  • Tooth decay under fillings, tooth enamel, or between teeth
  • Jaw bone loss
  • Impacted teeth
  • Abscess infection in the tooth root
  • Cysts and tumors

Can the radiation from dental x-rays harm me?

Dental x-rays put out a very low level of radiation, so you should develop no problems from them. Additionally, you will be given a lead apron to wear that will protect your chest and abdomen from x-ray radiation. A lead collar may also be given to shield your thyroid.

Should I get regular dental x-rays?

It may be recommended that certain individuals receive dental x-rays more regularly than others. These individuals include:

  • Those with several dental restorations which cavities can develop under
  • Children because their teeth are more susceptible to decay
  • Individuals who have a dry mouth because this condition makes their teeth vulnerable to decay
  • Those who have gum disease which can result in bone loss

Are dental x-rays safe to use when you are pregnant?

It is safe to have a dental x-ray when you are pregnant and often necessary for certain procedures. Just be sure to tell your dentist that you are pregnant and wear the lead apron.

What types of dental x-rays are there?

Some of the most common dental x-rays include:

  • Bitewings which focus on showing cavities that may develop in the back teeth of the mouth
  • Periapical x-rays which focus on showing tooth roots
  • Panoramic x-rays which create a complete image of your teeth and jaw bone