Everything You Need To Know About Dental X-ray

You go to your dentist, hoping for a cure and an accurate diagnosis. However, at times your dentist may not identify the problem after a visual inspection. Hence, they pull out an important tool in their arsenal, the dental X-rays. Dental X-rays are a fairly common procedure, and you may be asked for an X-ray every year or so. Therefore, let’s share how dental X-rays work, discuss their safety and how they help out.

How Does X-Ray Work?

An X-ray is a radiation that passes through some portions of your body and is absorbed by some. To be more specific, denser parts of your body absorb X-rays such as bone and teeth. However, it passes straight through less dense portions such as tissues. These properties of extra help differentiate teeth from surrounding tissues. After passing through a portion of your body, X-rays hit the film. The X-ray film fades according to the level of exposure, so if more X-rays hit a part of a film, it fades more. Hence, a pattern develops in films according to the density distribution of the surfaces X-ray has encountered.

Now, with basic working out of the way, let’s discuss a few types of dental X-rays.

Bitewing X-rays:

Requires you to bite down on the film. It shows teeth in both upper and lower jaws up to the level of supporting bone in the required portion.

Periapical X-ray:

This shows the whole arrangement of teeth in either the upper or lower jaw.

Panoramic X-rays:

Anyone who has used the panorama camera feature in their phones knows what kind of X-ray this is. This is a long and extended X-ray of all your teeth.

How Do The X-rays Help?

We discussed three common types of X-rays, but there are more. However, a dentist can identify some specific problems with each X-ray type. Hence, there are enormous ways an X-ray can help out your dentist; here are a few:

  • Locate Sneaky Cavities, such as those between the teeth or beneath dental fillings.
  • Recognize how the bone structure change due to an infection.
  • Look for signs of bone loss.
  • Recognize impacted teeth, and predict how the sprouting of the wisdom tooth will impact other teeth.

What Are The Risks Of Dental X-rays?

Although we cannot deny the importance of X-rays, the question about the safety of dental X-rays still remains. The dose used for dental X-rays falls under safe limits, hardly posing any risk. However, it’s better safe to be sorry, so you will have to cover your body with an article of Apron-like clothing during an X-ray. This clothing is made out of lead, protecting vital parts of your body from X-ray exposure. However, if you are pregnant, tell your dentist about your condition, and the dentist will plan the required X-ray session.


This article discussed the basics of dental X-rays and how useful they are. X-ray is very important, but what matters more is the dentist’s skill using the X-ray. For best results and reliable diagnosis, book an appointment with Brookshire Smile Dental. You can call us at 281-934-1010 to learn more about how we can help.