X-rays are taken for many reasons some of them are:
• To check for cavities
• Check the health of the bone in around the teeth and jaw
• Helping diagnose periodontal disease
• Help diagnose infection of a tooth
• Check developing teeth including missing teeth and wisdom teeth
• Checking for tumors
There are different types of x-rays in dental, Intraoral x-rays (inside of the mouth) and extraoral x-rays (taken outside of the mouth.) Some of most common ones taken in a dental office are bitewings, periapical and panoramic x-rays. X-rays are safe but do emit a low level of radiation. The hygienist or dental assistant uses a lead apron with a thyroid collar that covers your chest and thyroid to help protect you. They follow the principle of ALARA to help get “as low as reasonably achievable” amount of radiation.
Taking an x-ray depends on many factors and is patient specific, and is only to be taken when the dentist has asked for them.
Some factors are:
• Age of patient
• How susceptible you are for risk for caries(cavities)
• History of your oral health
• Your dental hygiene (if you have any symptoms of decay or gum disease)
• Stages of dental development
To find out more about x-rays and radiation, you can visit: CDA Position on Control of X-Radiation in Dentistry
Be sure to always check with your dentist if you have any questions regarding x-rays and radiation.