Dental X-Rays and Why We Take Them

Dental X-Rays (Radiographs) are images that we use to evaluate the health of individual teeth.

These radiographs are used with low levels of radiation to capture images of the interior of your teeth and gums. This can help us detect abnormalities such as tooth decay, developmental issues or any infection associated with your child’s teeth. Often these abnormalities are not visible to the naked eye.

 

 

Fig 1: The teeth in the red circle appear healthy and unaffected to the naked eye

Fig 1: The teeth in the red circle appear healthy and unaffected to the naked eye

Fig 2: Radiographic image o fthe same teeth clearly shows the decay in between the two teethh

Fig 2: Radiographic image of the same teeth clearly shows the decay in between the two teeth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are they safe and does my child need radiographs?

 

Regardless of whether you’re a child or an adult, you can have radiographs safely taken of the inside and outside of your mouth. The amount of radiation involved is extremely low.

If there is little benefit in taking a radiograph, or it does not affect immediate treatment, we may often choose not to take one.

However, cavities between teeth are best caught early. If you wait until you can see it without an X-ray, it could cause more serious damage to the teeth.

 

What can radiographs help to detect?

  • Decay between teeth
  • Abscesses and dental infections
  • Normal and abnormal development of teeth – Malformed teeth, extra or missing teeth, stage of development of teeth
  • Cysts and some types of tumours
  • Traumatic dental injuries
  • The proximity of teeth to nerves and sinuses

 

What types of radiographs are required?

The types of radiographs we may take of your child will depend on the conditions being assessed. The decision to take radiographs, and the type of radiograph taken, will be influenced by a number of factors such as your child’s past and present oral health, an examination, their age, risk factors and any other signs or symptoms. These will be discussed during your initial consultation.

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