Dental X-Rays

Every individual who visited a dental clinic might have spotted an X-ray machine. It’s a powerful diagnostic tool to spot any signs of concern in teeth, gums, jaws, or any part of the mouth. Typically, the dentist includes the X-rays in routine dental visits or for diagnosing any oral healthcare concern. Matter-of-the-fact, dental X-rays are diagnosing a dental problem before it causes severe problems like money, pain, or even loss of life. The readers need to know what are dental X-rays and why they have become an important preventative and diagnostic tool.

What are Dental X-Rays?

Wearing the apron and holding a device between your teeth for a few seconds might not sound like a fun activity at all. Yet, X-rays help the dentists in knowing the condition of the teeth, jawbone, facial bone composition, and roots. X-rays can identify any problems that could be missed in an oral exam.

How are X-Rays Performed?

There are a lot of myths around X-rays but it’s quite a painless procedure. One wouldn’t feel any problem or hint of discomfort at the X-rays done at our clinics. Let’s breakdown the procedure into steps-

  • Dental X-rays will be taken with the patient sitting upright in a chair.
  • A lead apron over the patient’s chest with the wrapping of a thyroid collar around the neck.
  • The dental technician will place the X-ray sensor or film in the mouth for the picture.

Note: If anyone has a sensitive gag reflex, one should intimate the dentist. This is important to do before the X-ray is conducted. In cases like this, the dentist will alleviate the problem by taking the necessary steps.

How do X-Rays help in the detection of Oral Problems?

X-rays will help in the early diagnosis of any oral problem in the mouth or jaws.

X-Rays in Adults-

  • Teeth decay
  • Decay below the existing dental fillings
  • Jawbone loss severity
  • Damage to the bone or root canal due to infection
  • Evaluating the teeth’s condition for dental procedures like braces, dental implants, dentures, root canal procedure
  • Identifying any change in teeth’s alignment
  • Signs of any Abscesses (an infection at the root of a tooth or between the gum and a tooth).
  • Catch oral cancer signs

X-Rays in Children

  • Evidence of tooth decay
  • Check if there is space to fit the teeth
  • Monitors the progress of the wisdom teeth’s growth
  • To check for signs of teeth impacting

What are the different types of dental X-rays?

Dental X-ray is of two types-

Intraoral –

  • The dentist will place the X-ray film inside the mouth
  • The main objective of the x-ray is to check the teeth, cavities, and the health of the tooth root and bone surrounding the teeth.

Extraoral –

  • The dentist will place the X-ray film outside the mouth
  • It will teeth but their main aim is to find the health of the jaw and skull.

How often should one go for teeth X-Rays?

The number and frequency of the X-rays all hinges on the patient’s current oral health, medical plus dental history. Usually, the ADA recommends a dental X-ray every 6 months. On the other hand, individuals with no history of dental problems and who have regular dental appointments need to take X-rays every 2 years.

Dentists will compare the first-visit X-rays to the X-rays taken over a period of time. This helps the dentist in diagnosing any oral healthcare problem and recommending early treatment.

Also, X-rays would be recommenced to individuals who are at a high risk of developing dental problems.
So, who needs X-Rays-


  • This age group needs X-rays more than adults as their jaws and teeth are still in the growth phase.
  • This also means the new teeth are at a danger of contracting the infection.
  • To avoid this, the dentist advises regular teeth x-rays for the children.

Adults with a history of restorative procedures

  • X-ray examination will help the dentists to check for any decay in the teeth or the existing filling.

People with frequent consumption of sugary drinks

  • Identify any signs of tooth decay.

People already diagnosed with periodontal (gum) disease:

  • Evaluation of bone loss.

Dry Mouth


Are dental X-Rays safe?

Let’s bust the myth first that X-Rays are unsafe. Radiation emitted from the x-ray is extremely low thanks to the rapid advances in the dentistry field.

The reason for the low exposure are:

  • Machines restrict the radiation beam to a small & concentrated region
  • High-speed X-rays
  • Patients wearing lead-lined full-body aprons
  • Stringent federal laws calling for regular safety inspections of X-ray machines

Does Insurance cover my Dental X-Rays?

For new patients, First Point Dental offers free X-rays. On the other hand, dental insurance coverage might cover the whole cost of dental X-rays. It’s important to sit down with your insurance provider about your dental plan.