How It Feels
X-rays take only a few minutes and are
Some people may gag on the plastic or cardboard that
holds the X-ray film. People often find it easier to relax if they focus on
something else (such as an object on the wall) and take slow, deep breaths
through their nose during the X-rays.
The amount of radiation used in dental X-rays is low. But there is always a slight risk of damage to cells or tissue from being exposed to any radiation, including the low levels of radiation used for this test. But the risk of damage from the X-rays is usually very low compared with the potential benefits of the test.
Pregnant women may not want to have routine dental X-rays taken until after
they give birth. Although there is no proof that a routine dental X-ray could
harm a developing baby (fetus), dentists usually suggest you wait to have your
X-rays until after the baby is born. Delaying the X-ray for a few months will
not result in further harm to teeth in most cases. There are times when the
severity of the dental problem requires an X-ray to deal with an urgent
X-rays are pictures of the teeth, bones, and soft
tissues around them to help find problems with the teeth, mouth, and jaw. Your
dentist can talk to you about your X-rays right after they are done.
No tooth decay is
No damage to the bones
supporting the teeth is seen.
No dental injuries, such as
tooth or jaw
fractures, are seen.
cysts, solid growths (tumors), or
abscesses are seen.
No extra or
impacted teeth are seen and no teeth are out of their
Tooth decay is
Damage to the bones supporting
the teeth is seen.
Dental injuries, such as tooth
or jaw fractures, are seen.
Cysts, solid growths
(tumors), or abscesses are seen.
Abnormally placed, extra, or
impacted teeth are seen.
What Affects the Test
Reasons you may not be able to
have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:
- If you can't stay still or hold the X-ray
plastic or cardboard in your teeth.
- If you have braces, retainers,
dentures, bridges, and certain body piercings (ear, tongue, lip, cheek, or