All you need to know about dental X-RAYs



  1. What is a teeth x-ray?
    A teeth xray is an image your dentist will take to evaluate your teeth, for signs of disease such as cavities, periodontal disease and other kinds of oral disease. It can be also be used to look for developing teeth or to look at surrounding bony areas in the jawbone. It can be diagnostic and also preventative. There are two kinds of dental xrays, digital and film. Digital of course is preferable as it is several times lower in radiation. You should ask your dental office before booking an appointment what kind they take in their office as Digital xrays are lower in radiation. At Upper East Dental innovations, we utilize only digital Xrays which are 50-90 % lower in radiation. 
  2. How long does it take to get a teeth x-ray?
    To get a full dental set of xrays take between 10 and 12mins which is about 17 films. Typically, the least amount of dental xrays should always be taken. We call this prescriptive xrays, in which a dentist will examine you first, determine your risk assessment for cavities or periodontal disease, and then prescribe the appropriate number of xrays.

  3. As a dentist, what do you use a teeth x-ray for?
    As a dentist, I use Xrays to diagnose and prevent oral disease in our patients.

  4. Can you give any diagnoses off of a teeth x-ray?
    If so, which ones? Absolutely! Teeth xrays are specifically for the diagnoses of the patient examined. Dentists are able to find not only cavities or periodontal disease but also we use xrays to diagnose teeth grinding or bruxism. A very common occlusal oral disease which many suffer from. Additionally, we may be able to identify teeth whose nerves have gone dead and may require additional dental treatment such as root canal therapy. We may also, identify growths in the jawbone.

  5. How often should someone get a teeth x-ray?
    Typically, a patient should be examined by a dentist every 6 months, unless they are high risk patients for periodontal disease, in which case they should be examined every 3-4 months. It is important to get prescriptive xrays after an exam by your dentist every 6 months. This means that every 6 months when you get your checkup, your dentist should examine you and determine whether you need xrays at this visit. This would depend on factors such as how good your oral hygiene is, whether you are flossing and following home care instructions given by your dentist, whether you have a high caries index, or whether the dentist wishes to check in on something they were watching, at the last visit. Sometimes, at the last exam, he/she may have been concerned about something they saw during exam and they may wish to look further after some time has passed and other symptoms may have developed.

  6. Any other things you would like to say about teeth x-rays?
    It is important for all patients, to get at least 7 xrays (4 bitewings and 3 pas), at their first visit with a dentist, to get an overall view of the patient’s oral cavity and then it should be decided whether more xrays and further examination is necessary based on the findings.
Dr. Sharde Harvey

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