Illustration of a woman's side profile as she gets digital dental X-rays of her teeth

Demystifying Digital Dental X-Rays

March 31, 2023

When you visit our office, you may need to get digital X-rays taken before we clean your teeth, perform an exam, or start other treatments.

What Are Digital Dental X-Rays?

While we can assess some of your dental health with just our eyes, we can’t see what’s going on beneath the surface. Dental X-rays (also called radiographs) let us see your jawbone, tooth roots, nerves, and sinuses. While past dental X-rays used film, modern imaging uses digital sensors and a computer. Thanks to this technology, the X-ray process is faster, more accurate, and safer by emitting 80-90% less radiation.

What Types of Digital X-Rays Do We Take?

When you get a panoramic X-ray, you set your chin on a stand and hold still while the machine revolves around your head. The resulting image shows your whole mouth and jaw. We can see things like incoming wisdom teeth, cysts, tumors, cavities, and more. If we’re placing dental implants, designing an orthodontic plan, or considering wisdom teeth removal, panoramic X-rays are very helpful.

To get a closer look at each of the four quadrants in your mouth, we use bitewing X-rays. You bite down on the sensor, which takes a picture of that area in your mouth. Bitewing X-rays help us spot cavities between your teeth. If we need to look even closer, we’ll take periapical X-rays to show an entire tooth from its crown to its root.

Are Dental X-Rays Safe?

Digital X-rays are an extremely beneficial diagnostic tool. While they do emit low levels of radiation (which is carcinogenic), X-rays are considered safe due to the minimal radiation exposure and how infrequently they are taken. At ADC Dental Group, our team considers factors like your age, your stage of dental development, and your oral health history when deciding when you need X-rays.

If you have additional questions about dental X-rays or want to schedule an appointment at our office, please contact us today!


Dental X-rays image from Authority Dental under CC 2.0

Categorised in: