Digital and Analog X-Rays
Dental x-rays (dental radiographs) are medical imaging tools your dentist uses to evaluate the health of your teeth and gums and diagnose problems. Using low levels of radiation, an x-ray captures images of the areas beyond the surface of your mouth and teeth.
Why and When X-Rays are Performed
Dental offices take x-rays of patient’s mouths to assess oral health and diagnose dental diseases or other issues. They can also be an essential part of a long-term treatment plan because they show small changes that can’t be seen at the surface level of the mouth.
Dental x-rays will be prescribed based on patient specific needs. Your dentist may recommend an increased frequency of x-rays if he or she is monitoring an ongoing issue or if you are having dental work performed.
The frequency of x-rays may also depend on factors such as your age, your dental history (such as if you have a history of cavities or gum disease), and whether you have ongoing symptoms associated with oral diseases. Children may receive more frequent x-rays since their teeth are in developmental stages and could require additional monitoring.
X-rays may also be taken in the case of dental emergencies, such as when teeth are infected, cracked, or otherwise damaged. They are essential in monitoring the development of unerupted teeth, such as wisdom teeth, for potential issues.