Your dentist will usually recommend routine screening x-rays every two to three years. We use these x-rays to detect decay between your teeth or below existing fillings. Both these areas cannot be seen by just looking in your mouth.
X-rays also show us the height of the bone supporting your teeth, any infection in the bone, abscesses or cysts and some types of tumours. Your dentist will also use x-rays to see the root formation of a tooth before removing it.
In some cases your dentist may refer you to our local x-ray clinic to have an OPG x-ray taken. This is a full mouth x-ray showing both upper and lower jaws, spanning from ear to ear.
Routine screening x-ray (left) showing large cavity on an upper back molar. Full mouth x-ray (right) showing unerupted wisdom teeth.
Over the years digital technology has reduced the radiation levels needed to produce clear images. All our treatment rooms are equipped with the latest radiography equipment to ensure we can produce clear images using minimal radiation. While radiation used is minimal, our dentists will still only take an x-ray if it is necessary for diagnosis or essential to provide safe treatment.
If you have had x-rays taken at your previous dentist, we may ask you to sign a request asking that they be sent to us. This way we can avoid taking new x-rays unnecessarily and your dentist can make comparisons with x-rays taken in the future.