Dental radiographs (x-rays) are essential and preventive diagnostic tools that provide valuable information not visible during a regular dental exam. Dentists and dental hygienists use this information to safely and accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities and complete an accurate treatment plan. Without x-rays, problem areas may go undetected.
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Dental X-Rays May Reveal:
- Abscesses or cysts
- Bone loss
- Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors
- Decay between the teeth
- Developmental abnormalities
- Poor tooth and root positions
- Problems inside a tooth or below the gumline
Detecting and treating dental problems at an early stage can save you time, money, unnecessary discomfort, and teeth!
When Can I Expect to See the Results of My Dental X-Rays?
The results of a dental x-ray are available immediately once they have been taken. This allows our staff to quickly get an in-depth look at what exactly is going on within your teeth and, if needed, devise a treatment plan. Due to this rapid turnaround, we can start treatment as soon as possible, preventing our patients from encountering any further pain or illness.
Dental X-Rays FAQ
Are dental x-rays safe?
The amount of radiation exposure from a full-mouth series of x-rays is equal to the amount a person receives in a single day from natural sources. Our dentists take necessary precautions to limit the patient’s exposure to radiation when taking dental x-rays. These precautions include using lead apron shields to protect the body and using modern, fast film that cuts down the exposure time of each x-ray.
How often should dental x-rays be taken?
The need for dental x-rays depends on each patient’s individual dental health needs. Your dentist and dental hygienist will recommend necessary x-rays based on the review of your medical and dental history, dental exam, signs and symptoms, age consideration, and risk for disease. A full series of x-rays will usually last for about 3 – 5 years. Bite-wing x-rays (x-rays of top and bottom teeth biting together) are taken at check-up visits and are recommended once or twice a year to detect new dental problems.
Are dental x-rays covered by my insurance?
Yes. Dental x-rays are considered an important part of the oral health process and should be covered by a patient's dental insurance. The exact number and type of x-rays permitted can vary from one provider to another — so it's always a good idea to check with your insurance plan.