Why do I need dental x-rays and are they safe?

Many diseases of the teeth and surrounding tissues cannot be seen by your dentist when he or she examines your mouth. A dental x-ray can "see inside" your teeth and soft tissues to help reveal many conditions and diseases. A dental x-ray examination can show:

  • areas of decay between the teeth or under existing fillings, crowns, and bridges
  • infections in the bone
  • periodontal (gum) disease
  • developmental abnormalities
  • some types of tumors or cysts

Finding and treating dental problems early on can often save money, time, and unnecessary pain. Your dentist will evaluate your need for radiographs and how often you should have them done. This may depend of your age, risk for disease, or for evaluation or growth and development. Often times, your dentists recommendations may differ from what your insurance company covers. 

At Charlotte Progressive Dentistry, we only use digital x-rays. This type of radiograph reduces radiation exposure by 90%. To compare, a chest CT scan exposes a patient to 2,800 times the radiation of a dental x-ray, and a mammogram gives off about 60 times the radiation. Surprisingly, you get more radiation from daily exposure to nature than from dental x-rays. 

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