Shedding Light on Oral Health: The Significance of Dental X-Rays


At times, the human eye may not detect microscopic problems, necessitating advanced diagnostic methods for accurate disease detection.  Dental radiographs serve as invaluable tools in identifying hidden problems, ensuring precise treatment planning, and effective management of oral health conditions. 

Dental X-rays offered by the dentist in Brookline, MA, help offer precise information and details about the disease and trauma diagnosis that pave the way for designing accurate treatment plans. 

A comprehensive guide to dental radiographs or X-rays

Dental X-rays, or radiographs, are internal images of your teeth and surrounding structures like the jawbone, sinuses, and TMJ. These are excellent diagnostic tools that aid in examining the structures that are not visible during a routine checkup.  

Radiographs use electromagnetic radiation to capture images of your oral cavity and the surrounding structures. These beams are capable of penetrating through your soft tissues and creating images of the teeth and bone. 

They help diagnose a wide range of oral problems, such as:

  • Dental caries, especially if the infection involves small areas  between the teeth (interdental)
  • Secondary caries beneath existing restorations
  • Bone loss in your jaw
  • Specific areas of infection
  • The exact position of the third molars and impaction (a condition when the third molar is unerupted or partially erupted)
  • Tooth abscess (pus-filled pocket)
  • Cysts (fluid-filled sacs) and tumors (abnormal tissue growth)

Dental X-rays also help assess your bone health to determine the eligibility for treatments like dental implants, dentures, and orthodontic braces. Furthermore, dentists can use X-rays to evaluate the healing process and treatment outcomes of dental procedures like bone grafting and root canal therapy. 

Dental X-rays can be classified into the following categories:

  • Intraoral X-rays (the X-ray film is inside the mouth)
      • Bitewing
      • Periapical
      • Occlusal
  • Extraoral  X-rays (the X-ray film outside the mouth)
    • Panoramic
    • Cephalometric
    • Cone beam CT scan

Are dental X-rays safe? 

Dental X-rays are considered safe since they produce a low level of radiation. The amount of exposure due to a full mouth X-ray is equal to the amount that you may receive in a single day from other sources like smartphones, TV, or computer screens. However, dentists may adopt preventive measures like lead aprons and digital X-rays to limit radiation exposure. 


Dental X-rays are essential diagnostic tools for proper oral health and maintenance. These are safe and effective tools that pave the way for an accurate diagnosis and treatment. 

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