Concerned about the risks of radiation from dental x-rays? So are we.

The following page shows the most common dental x-rays, why we take them, and how frequently we recommend they be taken. X-rays enable us to detect dental problems in the early stages, when treatment is less invasive and less costly.

Our office uses digital X-rays.

The images are dated and stored for each patient in our computer system. Copies of digital X-rays can now be easily printed out on paper or emailed. There are three different X-ray views that we use.

Panoramic X-ray

“Panoramic” X-rays show all the teeth and oral structures in one view.  It is our preferred view for the initial exam as it gives us a quick and easy snapshot of what’s happening in your mouth.  It provides the best view for evaluating wisdom teeth.  Since nothing has to go inside the mouth, the panoramic X-ray is comfortable even for the most severe gagger.

The recommended frequency for taking panoramic x-rays for children is every 3-5 years and for adults every 5-7 years.

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Individual “Periapical” X-rays show a close up view of the entire tooth and surrounding bone. We take this view when we need to see a particular area with the highest detail.  

We recommend that periapical X-rays be taken  as needed to evaluate specific concerns.  




“Bitewing”  X-rays show the upper and lower back teeth.  We use them to check for cavities, evaluate existing fillings & crowns, and to evaluate the supporting bone.  It is our most useful view for periodic check-ups as it shows the areas most likely to have issues.

The recommended frequency for taking bitewing X-rays depends on your past history and future risk for dental problems:

                                                high risk: every year

                                                normal risk: every year and a half

                                                low risk:every two years