Simple Steps To Better Dental Health
space placeholder
Featuring consumer information from Columbia School of Dental & Oral Surgery
Oral Health Made Simple: Your Prescription For Knowledge
Small BoxAll About Cavities
Small BoxBrushing and Flossing
Small BoxFluoride
Small BoxMouth-Healthy Eating
Small BoxSealants
Small BoxTaking Care of Your Teeth
Small BoxTobacco
Small BoxYour Dental Visit
Small BoxMORE
Small BoxBad Breath
Small BoxCavities
Small BoxCold Sores
Small BoxDry Mouth
Small BoxImpacted Tooth
Small BoxSensitive Teeth
Small BoxTMJ
Small BoxTooth Discoloration
Small BoxMORE
Small BoxCrowns
Small BoxDentures
Small BoxFillings: The Basics
Small BoxGum Surgery
Small BoxImplants
Small BoxRoot Canal Treatment
Small BoxScaling and Root Planing
Small BoxWhitening
Small BoxMORE
Small BoxControlling Pain
Small BoxCosmetic Dentistry
Small BoxEmergencies
Small BoxFill, Repair, Replace
Small BoxKids And Teens
Small BoxOral Health and Your Body
Small BoxOrthodontics
Small BoxPeriodontics
Small BoxSeniors
Small BoxMORE
Step 1 Prevent ProblemsSimplestepsPrevent Problems
Step 2 Understand ConditionsSimplestepsUnderstand Conditions
Step 3 Explore TreatmentsSimplestepsExplore Treatments

go to Interactive Tools go to Parents' Guide go to Dental Drugs go to Ask The Dentist

Back to Your Dental Visit
New reviewed by Columbia banner

space placeholder
space placeholder. What Are X-Rays?.
space placeholder.What You See on an X-Ray.
space placeholder.More About X-Rays.
space placeholder..
space placeholder

space placeholder
space placeholder. What Are X-Rays?
space placeholder

X-rays are a form of energy that travels in waves. X-rays can enter solid objects, where they either are absorbed or continue to pass through. X-rays tend to be absorbed by denser objects. They pass easily through less dense objects.

Teeth and bone are very dense, so they absorb X-rays. X-rays pass more easily through gums and cheeks. That's why cheeks and gums appear dark and without detail on a dental X-ray, but teeth show up much lighter. Restorations such as crowns and fillings are even denser than bone. They show up as solid, bright white areas on X-rays. Dental decay and caries (cavities) appear as darker patches.

space placeholder
space placeholder.What You See on an X-Ray
space placeholder

X-ray image with problem areas labeled

space placeholder
space placeholder.More About X-Rays
space placeholder

How Are X-rays Used?
How Often Should Teeth Be X-Rayed?
Types of X-Rays
X-Ray Safety
X-Ray Frequency Guidelines

printer friendly format option iconPrinter-friendly version     
printer friendly format option iconPrinter-friendly version
  See Also . . .
X-Ray Safety
Graphic for Solutions Sleuth showing woman's face and magnifying glassSolution Sleuth
Powered by Aetna Dental Plans

© 2002-2016 Aetna, Inc. All rights reserved. All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician before starting a new fitness regimen. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions. External website links provided on this site are meant for convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement. These external links open in a different window.