Benefits of Dental X-Rays
X-rays, also known as radiographs, are an essential part of any dental care treatment plan. They are diagnostic, but they can also be preventive, by helping a dentist diagnose potential oral care issues in a patient’s mouth before they become a major problem.
What X-RAYS Show
Intraoral X-rays are the most common type of radiograph taken in dentistry. They give a high level of detail of the tooth, bone and supporting tissues of the mouth. These X-rays allow dentists to:
✓ Find cavities
✓ Look at the tooth roots
✓ Check the health of the bony area around the tooth
✓ Help diagnose periodontal disease
✓ See the status of developing teeth
How Often Are X-rays Needed?
Everyone's oral health varies, and as a result, the dentist will evaluate your needs and recommend an X-ray schedule accordingly. If you're a new patient, the dentist may advise taking a full series of X-rays or panoramic image to assess your current oral health state, and use this as a baseline going forward. As you continue your regular checkup visits, fewer X-rays are needed to monitor the status of your oral health.
Dental X-rays Safety & Pregnancy
Because X-ray machines and other sources of dental radiographs are designed to minimize radiation, these processes are safe and your exposure is negligible. The American Dental Association (ADA) Mouth Healthy site recommends patients have the added protection of a leaded apron to cover the abdominal area and a leaded collar to protect the thyroid. Always let your dentist know if you're pregnant or breastfeeding, though necessary X-rays don't have to be avoided as long as you're wearing a fitted lead apron and thyroid collar.