Dental radiographs (or x-rays) are an important part of your dental care. Along with an oral examination, they provide your dentist with a more complete view of what’s happening in your mouth.
A dental x-ray gives your dentist a picture of your hard tissues (teeth & bones) and the soft tissues (gums) that surround your teeth and jawbones. For example, dental radiographs may help your dentist see
• Tooth decay that develops between the teeth or under restorations (fillings)
• Diseases in the bone
• Periodontal (gum) disease
• Infections that develop under your gums
• some types of tumors.
Dental radiographs can alert your dentist to changes in your hard and soft tissues.
In children, x-rays allow the dentist to see how their teeth and jawbones are developing. Dental x-rays can help your dentist identify diseases and developmental problems before they become serious health issues. Early detection of an infection or injury also can limit or prevent further damage to other areas of the mouth.
Some people wonder if dental radiographs are safe because they expose the patient to radiation. The amount of radiation used to obtain dental radiographs is very small especially with the digital x-ray system.
Adapted from www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Publications/Files/for_the_dental_patient_sept_2011.pdf?la=en