The Importance of Understanding Dental X-rays

dental x ray

Dental X-rays

Advancements in technology have integrated into the world of dentistry. Since X-rays are often used within the industry in the diagnosis of various dental issues this new technology has become critical. When your mouth is X-rayed your dentist sees a two dimensional image that defines the specifics of the area beneath your gums. In the past a dentist in Bellaire TX would have used a film X-ray. Technology has resulted in the creation of digital X-rays which are starting to phase out film. Digital X-rays are superior because they emit a lot less radiation, are more easily archived, and require less time.


Radiation is a factor in X-rays. Excess X-rays should be avoided to limit a patient’s exposure. The main reason your dentist is using digital X-rays is because they have reduced the level of radiation exposure by eighty percent. Every time you see your dentist your teeth are checked for the most common issues. This gives your dentist an excellent idea of the condition of your teeth and effectively limits the use of X-rays. The amount of radiation emitted by X-rays is considered to be on the low end. The average individual receives more radiation from being exposed to the rays of the sun in one day than from having dental X-rays taken. Despite this fact dentists ensure their patients are exposed to as little radiation as possible to ensure their health and safety.

The Different Types of X-rays

When your dentist takes X-rays from the inside of your mouth they are referred to as intraoral X-rays. X-rays taken from outside of your mouth are called extraoral X-rays. Intraoral X-rays are used so your dentist can see the development of your teeth, detect any problems with the roots, find any cavities, and make certain your teeth are correctly anchored to your jaw. This type of X-ray is focused on specific details in your mouth. An extraoral X-ray concerns both your upper and lower jaws and is not as detail oriented but helps to see any problems in the bone and structures of the jaws.

The Consequences of Refusing X-rays

Refusing to allow your dentist to take X-rays can have serious consequences. Without the assistance of X-rays your dentist is unable to see tooth decay located in between teeth or root problem. When these issues remain unresolved it can lead to very expensive dental procedures or the loss of teeth. X-rays give your dentist the ability to find these problems when they are still small, implement immediate action, and prevent the problem from worsening. Although your dentist can see most tartar and plaque, without X-rays, what is underneath your gums remains invisible. X-rays are safe and are the best way for your dentist to diagnose and treat any issues you may have. Refusing to have X-rays taken is not worth the risk it may present to your health.

Your Dentist

When you have any questions regarding X-rays or dental procedures your best course of action is to speak with your dentist. Once your questions have been answered it will enable you to relax. The unknown can be scary and your dentist will be happy to alleviate any concerns you may have.