X-rays & OPG Images
When to get X-rays
Dental X-rays help dentists visualise diseases of the teeth and surrounding tissue that cannot be seen with a simple oral exam. In addition, X-rays help the dentist find and treat dental problems early in their development, which can potentially save you money, unnecessary discomfort, and future discomfort.
What Problems Can Dental X-rays Detect?
In adults, dental X-rays can be used to:
- Show areas of decay that may not be visible with an oral exam, especially small areas of decay between teeth
- Identify decay occurring beneath an existing filling
- Reveal bone loss that accompanies gum disease
- Reveal changes in the bone or in the root canal resulting from infection
- Assist in the preparation of tooth implants, braces, dentures, or other dental procedures
- Reveal an abscess (an infection at the root of a tooth or between the gum and a tooth)
- Reveal other developmental abnormalities
In children, dental X-rays are used to:
- Watch for decay
- Determine if there is enough space in the mouth to fit all incoming teeth
- Determine if primary teeth are being lost quickly enough to allow permanent teeth to come in properly
- Check for the development of wisdom teeth and identify if the teeth are impacted (unable to emerge through the gums)
How Often Should Teeth Be X-rayed?
The frequency of getting X-rays of your teeth often depends on your medical and dental history and current condition. Some people may need X-rays as often as every six months; others with no recent dental or gum disease and who visit their dentist regularly may get X-rays only every couple of years. If you are a new patient, your dentist may take X-rays as part of the initial exam and to establish a baseline record from which to compare changes that may occur over time.