What is a Dental X-Ray?

Anastasija Bates 2 minutes read

Dental X-rays are detailed images of teeth and jaws using Ionising radiation (X-rays).
This is an example of a routine dental X-ray image.

Why do we take X-rays?

Dental X-rays help dentists to make a diagnosis. They allow surfaces of the teeth and jaw bone to be checked that cannot be seen otherwise. This helps with the correct treatment planning and monitoring the health of your teeth.

Without dental X-rays dentists would not have enough information to offer the most appropriate treatment for you.

How often should I have dental X-rays?

Your dentist will decide how at risk you are of developing tooth decay and based on this risk assessment you may have your dental X-rays repeated on a more frequent basis.

For example, if you are at high risk of developing tooth decay your X-rays may be repeated every 6-12 months.

It is important to have regular check ups and X-rays in order to pick up and treat any tooth decay early.

How much radiation is there in a dental X-ray?

Day to day we receive ionising radiation from the food we eat and radioactivity in the air.
The dose of a dental X-ray is very small in comparison to other types of X-rays.

Comparing dental X-ray radiation dose

It can be compared to:

  • Half the background everyday dose received by an average person over a normal day
  • 1.5 hours on an airline flight
  • Eating 50 bananas

Are X-rays safe?

X-rays must be approved by a specialist (usually a dentist) who has agreed that the benefit of taking them is far greater than the small risk from X-rays.

Staff at the Vallance Dental Centre are well trained to deliver the best X-ray images using the lowest amount of radiation possible.

All equipment is regularly checked and maintained to ensure your safety.