Radiographs (x-rays) are essential diagnostic tools for the prevention of dental diseases. They are not taken on every checkup visits. The dentist may request them only when necessary based on medical and dental history, regular screenings, age considerations, and risk for dental diseases.
Parents often ask if dental x-rays are safe, and they are. Dental x-rays use only the low-level radiation to capture images of the mouth. The amount of radiation exposure from a full mouth series of dental x-rays is equal to what an individual normally receives in a day from natural sources.
Dental x-rays can help diagnose:
- Dental abscesses/cysts
- Bone loss
- Tumors (cancerous/non-cancerous)
- Interproximal decay ("cavity between the teeth")
- Developmental abnormalities
- Improper tooth and root positions