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Dental X-Rays

What Are Dental X-Rays?

A dental radiograph provides a picture or image, usually viewed on a computer screen; of your teeth, bones, cheeks and gums. A dental radiograph is produced using X-rays. 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.


Radiographs are valuable for diagnosing problems in your mouth. They are a record of your current and past dental health. If you are moving or transferring your care to a new dental office, it is important to obtain copies of your dental radiographs and bring them to your new office. This will assist your dentist in diagnosing your current dental health. In addition, this can also limit the number of additional radiographs your dentist needs to take and your overall exposure to dental x-rays.


Updated- November 20, 2020