Dental X-ray: What Is It and What Does It Entail?

Posted on 4/15/2024 by Weo Admin
Woman and dentist looking at x-rays from Brian K. Rounds, DDS in Lacey, WADental X-rays, or radiographs, are images of the teeth and mouth. Dentists often use them for diagnostic purposes. They enable them to get a better impression of your dental health than they would with conventional visual examinations.

How Do Dental X-rays Work?

Like regular X-rays, dental X-rays use high-energy electromagnetic radiation to develop images of your mouth. A beam of radiation penetrates your soft tissue while denser structures such as teeth and dental fillings block the light, creating white or gray impressions on a film or screen.

Types of Dental X-rays

There are different types of radiographs. The most common include bite-chewing X-ray, periapical X-ray, and occlusal X-ray. As the name implies, the bite-chewing X-ray involves biting on the X-ray film to reveal an image of your teeth, allowing your dentist to detect signs of tooth decay below the gum line. These dental X-rays are also effective at locating the source of toothaches and discomfort. On the other hand, periapical X-rays capture images of the jawbone or entire tooth, from the crown down to the tip of the root. Your dentist might employ this X-ray if they think there is damage to your root tip or jawbone. Occlusal X-rays typically capture the floor and roof of your mouth. These radiographs are helpful in diagnosing impacted teeth and fractures. They can also reveal damage to the jaw and the presence of cysts or growths.

Are Dental X-rays Safe?

The amount of radiation you are exposed to during a dental X-ray is minuscule. This makes these procedures largely safe. However, increased exposure to radiation can increase your risk for cancer. For this reason, you should only get a dental X-ray when necessary and under the counsel of your dentist.

Dental X-rays are ideal for diagnosing dental problems. They are not only quick and accurate but also non-invasive. This makes them an essential part of oral care. At your next appointment, ask us for more information about our dental X-ray services.

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