Dental x-rays are also known as dental radiographs, and they are very useful in helping your dentist discover any potential problems before they worsen. X-rays allow your dentist to see inside your teeth and evaluate your gums, which allows your dentist to see problems not visible to the naked eye. For example, dental x-rays can reveal such problems such as tumors, bone loss, abscesses or cysts, tooth decay, poor root and tooth positioning, developmental problems, and much more. When these problems are detected early using x-rays, they can often be treated more effectively.
Dental x-rays are very safe for patients. In fact, the amount of radiation present with a dental x-ray is much less than the amount a person is exposed to from the sun or from traveling in an air plane. Dentists also take many precautions to keep patients safe during the x-ray procedure.
Generally, full mouth dental x-rays are generally ordered when you visit a new dentist for the first time. After that, your dentist may wish to get further x-rays every three to five years. X-rays of the top and bottom teeth biting together are known as bite-wing x-rays and these are often taken every 6 to 18 months to help your dentist in diagnosing any potential your problems.