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Dental X-Rays

Dental x-rays (radiographs) are preventative, diagnostic, and essential aids that provide valuable data  not visible during a regular dental exam.  Dr. Braithwaite and your dental hygienist will use this information to accurately and safely show hidden dental defects and complete a precise treatment plan.  Without radiographs, problem areas may go unnoticed.

What do dental x-rays show?

  • Decay between the teeth.
  • Problems inside the tooth or below the gum.
  • Poor root and tooth positions
  • Cysts or abscesses.
  • Cancerous and non-cancerous lesions.
  • Developmental abnormalities.
  • Bone loss.

Treating and finding dental problems at an early stage can save you money, time, unnecessary discomfort, and your teeth!

Are dental x-rays safe?

All of us are exposed to natural radiation in our everyday environment. Dental x-rays give off a low level of radiation and can be considered safe. The amount of radiation exposure from a complete series of x-rays is equal to the amount a person receives in a single day from the natural environment. These precautions include using lead apron shields to protect the body and using fast, modern film that reduces the exposure time of each radiograph.

How often will dental x-rays be taken?

The need for dental radiographs will depend on your individual dental health needs.  Dr. Braithwaite and your dental hygienist will recommend necessary x-rays based on the review of your dental exam, medical and dental history, age consideration, risk for disease, and signs and symptoms.

A complete series of dental x-rays is recommended for most new patients.  In most cases a full series is usually good for 3-5 years.  Bite-wing radiographs (x-rays of top and bottom teeth biting together) are taken at recall check-up (recall) visits and are recommended at least once a year to detect new dental problems.