Dental X-ray examinations provide valuable information that helps your dentist evaluate your oral health. With the help of radiographs a dentist can look at what is happening beneath the surface of teeth and gums.
As X-rays from an X-ray machine pass through your mouth they are mostly absorbed by teeth and bone because these tissues, which are called hard tissues, are denser than cheeks and gums, which are called soft tissues. When X-rays strike the film or a digital sensor, an image called a radiograph is created. Radiographs allow your dentist to see hidden abnormalities, like tooth decay, infections and signs of gum disease.
As far as frequency goes, we recommend a six-film series once a year and a full mouth series(18 films) once every five years. These guidelines provides optimal diagnostics over a patients life time and are considered very safe. In my practice we utilize digital X-ray systems that require even less radiation than conventional radiographs.
Finding and treating dental problems at an early stage can save time, money and unnecessary discomfort. Radiographs can help us detect problems in your mouth that otherwise would not be seen and are absolutely necessary.