Are Dental X-Rays Safe?

During your visit to the dentist you may need to have x-rays done so that your dentist can get an overall view of your mouth. Many patients feel anxious when having x-rays done as it is unfamiliar to them.

Why Would I Need An X-Ray?

Tooth decay in the early stages may not show any visible signs and it may not initially cause you pain. Sometimes your tooth might look healthy but the x-ray may show something different. From an x-ray, your dental team will be able to see if you have any decay under the enamel, any infections in the root, or any bone loss around the tooth. X-rays can also help the dental team see between your teeth or under the edge of your filling. By finding dental diseases at an early stage, you will be able to treat them before they progress into something more serious.

How Often Should I Have X-Rays?

If you are visiting the dentist as a new patient, the dental team will most likely suggest that you have x-rays. This will help them to identify any issues that need to be taken into account during your treatment. After that, x-rays may be recommended every 6-24 months, depending on the person, their age and the condition of their oral health.

Are X-Rays Dangerous?

While dental x-rays do involve radiation, the exposure levels are so low that they are considered safe to use on children and adults. There are multiple sources of background radiation that you are exposed to daily that give off higher levels of radiation over a year than a dental x-ray. The only circumstance where it may not be considered safe for an x-ray is if you are pregnant. You should inform your dental team if this is the case and they will decide the appropriate course of action.

Why Does My Dentist Leave The Room During An X-Ray

The dental team might take hundreds of x-rays every week. It is important that staff limit their exposure to radiation by moving away from the x-ray beam.

Types Of X-Ray

There are several different types of x-rays which record images at different angles in your mouth. The most common are:

  • Bitewing – This shows the crowns of your teeth ( the part that is visible above your gum).
  • Occlusal – This x-ray shows the entire arch of teeth in either the top or bottom jaw.
  • Panoramic – Used to show the entire mouth on a single image.
  • Periapical – This x-ray focusses on two complete teeth from root to crown.

To summarise, dental x-rays are very safe as they only expose you to minimal levels of radiation. It is important that if your dentist recommends that you have x-rays taken that you follow their advice as without all of the information they will not be able to meet all of your treatment needs.

Sensitive Teeth Causes And Treatments

A sudden pain or discomfort when eating hot or cold foods or breathing in through your mouth are common symptoms of sensitive teeth. It is very treatable with our useful tips below.

What Is Sensitivity?

If you get a sharp, sudden pain in your teeth when you bite into something hot or cold, it’s very likely that you are suffering from sensitive teeth. Sensitive teeth are an exaggerated response to a stimuli such as hot or cold.

What Causes Sensitive Teeth?

There are a range of things that can cause sensitivity, but there are two main reasons: enamel loss and gum recession.

Enamel loss can be caused by:

  • Brushing too aggressively too often.
  • Acid erosion from acidic foods and drinks such as fizzy drinks or sweets.

Gum recession can be caused by:

  • Using a hard bristle toothbrush as this can injure the gum tissue.
  • Gum disease.
  • Your genes. No matter how well you look after your oral health, you may be genetically susceptible to gum recession.
  • Smoking increases plaque buildup on teeth which can lead to a greater risk of gum recession.

Professional and at home whitening can cause temporary sensitivity, but this should subside within a short period of time.

How To Treat Sensitive Teeth

Maintaining a good oral hygiene routine is key to preventing sensitivity. This means brushing twice a day for 2 minutes and flossing. You can also use a specialist sensitive toothpaste such as those sold by sensodyne.

If, after treating at home, you are still suffering with sensitivity, we would recommend that you visit your dentist so that they can offer you advice and treatment if you need it.

How To Overcome Your Fear Of The Dentist

Dental anxiety is fear, anxiety or stress associated with a dental setting. Having dental anxiety can cause delayed appointments and avoiding treatment. Attending the dentist is vital to ensure you are checked for mouth cancer, gum disease and dental decay.

A fear of the dentist is very common for patients in the UK. Newby Dental Practice is here to provide tips to help you feel better when attending the dentist.

Signs Of Dental Anxiety

People with dental anxiety may experience:

  • Sweating
  • increased heart rate
  • Dry mouth
  • Stomach pain

What Causes Dental Anxiety?

Dental anxiety can often be attributed to a fear of pain. This often derives from a previous experience that has resulted in pain or hearing ‘horror stories’ from friends and family. However, thanks to the latest developments in technology, appointments for patients are much more comfortable and often painless.

Some patients may be embarrassed by the appearance of their mouth and self conscious about possible mouth odour. This can result in dental anxiety and prevent patients coming to the dentist. Fortunately, our experienced dentists are trained to treat all types of dental health concerns and will be able to help.

How To Ease Dental Anxiety

Ask your dentist to play some music or talk to you about other subjects to take your mind off your treatment. This will give you something else to focus on and help to keep you calm.

Bring support to your appointment. Ask your dentist if you can bring a friend or family member to the appointment as having a familiar face nearby will help to ease your nerves.

Patients who suffer with more severe dental anxiety can be offered forms of sedation to help them relax. Our friendly team are available to give any advice if you are concerned about your visit. Please call us on 01723 670500 or email us at

5 Tips For Children Who Are Afraid of The Dentist

Our practice provides a friendly, comfortable environment to help keep all of our patients as calm as possible. However, it can be a scary experience for young children to visit the dentist. Children worry about being separated from their patients and being alone with a dentist that they might not have met before. They also fear certain procedures such as injections and drilling. This is why it is important that your child attends regular dentist appointments from a young age so that they get used to the sounds and smells that make up the dental environment. Here are our tips and tricks to help your child move past their anxieties:

Good Role Models

Children are very perceptive and will listen to what you say about your experience of dental treatments. Make sure that you talk positively about your dentist to ensure that your child feels safe. You could try bringing your child to one of your appointments to show them what the dentist does and try to make it a positive experience so that they look forward to their turn in the dental chair.

Also, whilst at home, make sure that you stress the importance of oral hygiene to your child. Encourage them to watch you whilst you brush and floss your teeth so that they can see a good oral hygiene routine and learn how to do it themselves.

Use Positive Words

When talking to your child about the dentist, make sure you are using positive words. Even if you feel negatively about the dentist, do not project this onto your children as they are very impressionable and may refuse to visit the dentist due to something bad that they have overheard you saying. If you are unsure of how to talk to your children about the dentist, give our team a call on 01723 670500 and they will help to provide any advice they can.

Relax and Distract

Another tip for parents would be to bring along cuddly toys, books, games etc for them to play with. These can act as a distractor and help them to link the dentist with positive things so that in the future they look forward to attending their appointments.

Help Your Dentist Form Common Ground With Your Child

Talk to your dentist about things that your child enjoys, such as hobbies or certain foods that they might appreciate. This will help your child feel more comfortable visiting the dentist as it will help to establish a friendly relationship.


Briefly explain to your child what their appointment is likely to entail. Describe the appointment in a way that makes your child excited to attend. However, do not create unrealistic scenarios. For example, telling your child that it ‘won’t be painful’ is a promise that could be easily broken and it may cause you and the dentist to lose your child’s trust.

If you require any extra information, visit the NHS website or give our team a call on 01723 670500.