Illustration of a red-haired woman getting dental X-rays taken

How Do Dental X-Rays Work?

It’s common to have X-rays taken of your mouth about once a year at your routine dental checkup. Dental X-rays are special images that help dentists identify problems underneath the surface of your teeth and gums. In conjunction with their visual examination, your dentist can obtain valuable insight from a dental X-ray regarding your jawbone, overall tooth structure, and bite alignment.

Dental X-rays use electromagnetic radiation to create images of your teeth, gums, and jawbone. An X-ray machine produces beams of high energy that pass through your soft tissues and are absorbed by denser materials, such as teeth and bones. These structures then show up as white on an X-ray. Dental X-rays can assess the jawbone, overall tooth structure, bite alignment, and more.

What Can Dental X-Rays Diagnose?

Dental X-rays can pinpoint an array of conditions, including:

  • Cavities – Cavities between teeth are not always visible to the naked eye but can be caught and identified with the help of dental X-rays.
  • Gum Disease – Dental X-rays can help determine the severity of gum disease by capturing the condition of the jawbone and tooth roots.
  • Impacted Teeth – The angle and positioning of impacted teeth, such as problematic wisdom teeth, as seen on a dental X-ray can help dentists create an effective treatment plan.
  • Temporomandibular Joint DisorderThe health and condition of the jaw joints can be seen on a dental X-ray.

Are Dental X-Rays Safe?

The amount of radiation used for digital X-ray technology is extremely low. Dental X-rays are generally considered a safe and effective diagnostic tool for most patients, especially since they are utilized fairly infrequently. Plus, patients wear a lead apron to minimize radiation exposure.

Safe Dental Care in Hermitage, TN

At Hermitage Dental Group, we take great pride in using state-of-the-art tools and equipment to provide comprehensive oral healthcare for our patients. We believe investment in our technology is an investment in our patient’s oral health and well-being. If you are ready to book an appointment, please contact us!


Image from Authority Dental under CC 2.0

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