Dental X-Rays and Safety: Your Diagnostic Chronicles 

Dental X-Rays and Safety: Your Diagnostic Chronicles 

Dental X-rays are radiographs or images of your mouth that help to evaluate your oral health. These play a key role in diagnosing several oral problems and conditions like tooth decay, bone loss, dental trauma, or impacted teeth. They offer valuable information not visible to the naked eye, which helps dentists design appropriate treatment plans.

The family dentist in Woodbridge provides dental X-rays, which enable them to detect oral problems in a much more convenient and affordable way. These X-ray images also aid in preventive measures to avoid any untoward dental problems in the future.

What are dental X-rays?

Dental X-rays are radiographic images of your teeth and surrounding structures like the jawbone and sinuses. They use a form of high-energy electromagnetic radiation that penetrates your body to form an image on film or screen. X-rays can either be developed on a film, or they can be digital.

They produce images in such a way that different structures appear uniquely:

  • Dense structures such as metal restorations appear white in the image
  • Teeth, tissues, and fluids appear as shades of gray
  • Structures that contain air appear black

When do dentists recommend dental X-rays?

Dentists often recommend dental X-rays only when needed for detecting the following conditions:

  • Dental abscesses or cysts
  • Bone loss caused by periodontal disease 
  • Benign (noncancerous) and malignant (cancerous) tumors 
  • Tooth decay in the interdental areas
  • Developmental abnormalities
  • Abnormal tooth or root positions
  • Any tooth problem present subgingivally (below the gum line)
  • Jaw fractures
  • Bone lesions
  • Occlusion problems

Are dental X-rays safe?

Dental X-rays are considered safe since they require low-dose radiation, thereby lowering your risk of side effects or radiation-related complications. Furthermore, dentists often adhere to all the necessary guidelines and precautions to limit radiation exposure when taking dental X-rays. These include:

  • Using lead apron shields to protect the body
  • Using modern, fast film to  limit the exposure time of each X-ray

The amount of radiation produced by a full set of dental X-rays is comparatively lesser than the amount absorbed from other things like TVs, computers, and smartphones.


Dental X-rays are excellent preventive and diagnostic tools to help detect dental abnormalities at an early stage. This aids the dentists in designing an appropriate treatment plan for your oral health needs. Though they are safe, care should be taken to use this tool only when required since repeated X-rays can increase your cancer risk.  

Frances Bailey