What is an X-ray?

There are various types of X-ray available in a Dental Surgery. Small X-rays that show the condition of areas of your teeth and gums are the most commonly used, however, larger x-rays can be used to examine the teeth and bone structure of your whole mouth. X-rays can help to predict future dental problems such as impacted wisdom teeth that may need to be removed before they cause problems. They can also highlight any issues that are not visible on the surface of your teeth, such as infection to the roots. 

Time Taken for Procedure

A Few Minutes

What is the process?

What does an X-ray show?

X-rays can be used to detect a number of dental issues including:

  • Decay under the tooth enamel
  • Any infection in the roots of your teeth
  • Bone loss around your teeth
  • Available space for teeth that are about to erupt
  • Assessment of teeth before advanced procedures such as crowns, bridges or implants

Types of X-ray

  • Traditional X-rays may use film either inside or outside the mouth and show specific areas of the gums and teeth.
  • Panoramic X-rays take a scan of the whole mouth at once. A CT (Computerised Tomography) scanner produces 3D colour images of your teeth, jaw, head, and face in outstanding detail.
  • A CT Scan is particularly useful when determining where to place dental implants.
  • Digital Radiographs use about half the radiation of a standard x-ray by replacing traditional film with an electronic sensor. The picture is immediately viewable.

Are X-rays safe?

Dental X-rays use a very small amount of radiation. To further reduce the risk of damage from radiation, your dentist will only use X-rays when it is necessary and/or if they feel you are at particular risk from tooth decay or gum disease.