Are Dental X-Rays Safe? 25 October 202311 October 2023During 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-RayThe 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-RayThere 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.