Lancaster Dental

Healthy Smiles for the Whole Family

Why are Dental X-rays Important?

Internal images of your teeth and jaws can be seen on dental X-rays (radiographs). Dentists utilize X-rays to check structures like the jawbone, nerves, sinuses, and tooth roots that they can’t see during a regular checkup.

Why do I Need X-Rays?

X-rays are useful for detecting cavities and gum disease early on, helping your dentist prevent them from getting worse. An X-ray is an essential part of dental health and maintenance.

How do dental X-rays work?

X-rays capture images of your mouth using electromagnetic radiation, just like other X-rays taken elsewhere on your body. Images of your teeth and bones are created as the radiation beam passes through your soft tissues.

Traditional film (using a camera) or digital X-rays (using sensors and a computer) can be used to take X-rays. The radiation from digital dental X-rays is 80% to 90% lower than that from traditional dental X-rays.

What can dental X-rays detect?

Cavities, especially small ones between teeth, decay underneath existing fillings, jaw bone loss, infection, unerupted or impacted teeth, abscessed teeth, cysts, and some types of tumors.

Also, dentists use X-rays to determine your eligibility for dental implants, braces, or dentures. A dental x-ray can also be used to check healing after certain procedures, such as dental bone grafting and root canals.

What are their two types?

  1. Intraoral: when the sensor or film is inside your mouth
  • Bitewing X-rays.
  • Periapical X-rays.
  • Occlusal X-rays

    .2. Extraoralwhen the sensor or film is outside your mouth
  • Panoramic X-rays.
  • Cephalometric X-rays.
  • Cone beam CT scan.

How often should I get dental X-rays?

Generally, dentists recommend taking X-rays once every six to 18 months for people with healthy teeth and gums. It may be necessary to take more frequent X-rays if you have gum disease, recurring decay, or other time-sensitive conditions.


X-rays are necessary for maintaining oral health and preventing decay. In general, people with healthy teeth and gums need to get updated X-rays every year. But you might require X-rays more frequently. For healthy teeth and gums, ask your dentist how often you should get X-rays.