In our office, we take digital radiographs, which expose you to less radiation than traditional film x-rays.
Radiographs are a very important part of your dental examination, as they allow the dentist to see beyond the outside surface of the mouth. X-rays are useful in detecting cavities, bone lesions/tumours, tooth infections, and many other important findings, such as the location of important nerves (important to know before oral surgery), sinuses, and wisdom teeth.
The most common x-rays taken at a dental office are bitewing x-rays. These are x-rays that are useful in detecting cavities between teeth and assessing the height of the bone that holds the teeth. In some cases, periapical x-rays may be taken to assess the roots and surrounding tissue of the teeth. A panoramic x-ray is a full face x-ray that is useful in assessing wisdom teeth, sinuses, and the location of major nerves such as the mandibular nerve.
We will take x-rays only when indicated by your symptoms and findings of your dental examination by your dentist. Our goal is to follow the ALARA principle: “As low as reasonably achievable.” We will only take x-rays when they are needed, and this is customized for you and your needs. For example, a patient who has very few fillings, gets check ups and cleanings on a regular basis, and has excellent oral hygiene which includes flossing, may only need x-rays to check for cavities every 3 years. On the other hand, a teenager who has poor oral hygiene, a lot of gum inflammation and a history of many cavities and fillings, may need to have x-rays taken every year.
The dentist will assess your specific risk and recommend the proper x-ray frequency for you.