X-rays are a diagnostic tool used by dentists during exams to detect damage, disease and decay. These pictures show the teeth, bones and soft tissues in in extreme detail, not visible to the naked eye.
X-ray pictures define many dental issues and treatments. Planning treatments for extensive cavities, endodontic treatment, tooth removals, abscesses, or impacted teeth are all reasons why your dentist may request an X-ray of your mouth.
While dental X-rays are safe, they do expose the patient to low levels of radiation. The potential risk of any issues from X-rays is very small, especially when compared to the tremendous benefits. During the X-ray procedure, a lead apron is worn to protect the patient’s body from radiation. Your dentist will likely ask if you are pregnant or if there is any other reason why being exposed to an X-ray could be harmful, just to be safe.
X-rays are tremendously beneficial in that they allow dentists to detect, monitor and/or treat issues during their early stages, thus giving the teeth the greatest chance of recovery.