Dental x-rays are essential to helping the dentist detect damage and disease that is not easily visible. Damage can be lurking below the gum level or inside the teeth. The frequency of x-rays that are needed depend on several different factors:

  • Your age.

  • Your present oral health.

  • Your risk of disease.

  • Any signs or symptoms of problems.

Children may require more frequency x-rays, because their mouth is constantly growing and changing. Their teeth are more likely to be affected by decay than an adult.

When a dentist needs an x-ray, some parents worry about radiation exposure for their child, but the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry reassures parents that the amount of radiation received for a dental x-ray is minimal.

The most common type of dental x-ray is called intraoral, meaning inside the mouth. These give a high level of detail of the teeth, bones, and tissues of the mouth. X-rays are used to:

  • Find cavities

  • See if the bony areas surrounding the teeth are healthy

  • Check for periodontal disease

  • Check on developing teeth

  • See the roots of the teeth