How x-rays are used
X-ray images, also called dental radiographs, are among the most valuable tools a dentist has for keeping your mouth and teeth healthy. The digital x-ray uses an electronic sensor (not x-ray film) that captures and stores the digital image of the teeth on a computer. The image can be instantly viewed and enlarged thus helping the dentist and dental hygienist detect problems or issues quicker and easier than on x-ray film. Digital x-rays also reduce radiation 80-90% compared to the already low exposure of traditional dental x-rays.
How often should dental x-rays be taken?
The need for dental x-rays depends on each patient’s dental health needs. Dr.McChristian 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 mouth series of dental x-rays is recommended for new patients and is usually good for three to five 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.
Digital Dental x-rays can 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 gum line