Illuminating Oral Health Through Dental X-rays

Dental X-rays are the most popular and widely used diagnostic tools in dentistry. It helps millions of dentists to detect oral diseases and other pathologies to design an appropriate treatment plan.

The dentist near the South Loop in Downtown Chicago specializes in all forms of dental X-rays to provide an accurate diagnosis. This helps detect pathologies early and treat them accordingly.

An introduction to dental X-rays 

Dental X-rays are internal images of your teeth and jaws. These are excellent diagnostic tools that help dentists examine the structures that are not visible during a routine checkup, like your alveolar bone, nerves, and teeth roots. 

Dental X-rays use electromagnetic radiation to capture images of your mouth. These radiation beams penetrate through your soft tissues and create images of the teeth and bone. 

Indications for dental X-rays 

Dental X-rays help study the tooth and root morphology, which is not visible through the naked eye. These tools are indicated to detect a wide range of oral health problems, such as:

  • Dental cavities, especially if the decay involves small areas  between the teeth (interdental areas)
  • Secondary caries beneath existing restorations
  • Amount of bone loss
  • Areas of infection
  • The exact position or unerupted or impacted teeth (especially third molars)
  • Tooth abscess
  • Cysts and tumors (abnormal tissue growth)

Dental X-rays also help determine your eligibility for treatments like:

  • Dental implants
  • Braces
  • Dentures

Furthermore, dentists can use X-rays to assess the healing process after dental procedures like bone grafting and root canal therapy. 

Types of dental X-rays

There are several types of dental X-rays, which include:

  • Intraoral X-rays
    • Bitewing
    • Periapical
    • Occlusal
  • Extraoral  X-rays
    • Panoramic
    • Cephalometric
    • Cone beam CT scan

Dental X-rays are safe 

The amount of radiation exposure from a full mouth series of X-rays is equal to the amount that you may receive in a single day from natural sources. This could be through your smartphones, computers, or television screens. Dental X-rays produce a low level of radiation and are considered safe. 

Dentists take necessary precautions to limit your exposure to radiation during dental X-rays through:

  • Lead aprons to shield your body 
  • Modern and fast films to cut down the exposure time 

The frequency of dental X-rays depends on your individual dental health needs. You will be advised to have an X-ray only if it is necessary based on the review of your medical and dental history, oral examination, symptoms, age considerations, and risk factors for the disease. 


Dental X-rays are excellent diagnostic tools to detect dental pathologies. These are safe and effective when all the necessary precautions have been taken by the dentist.