X-rays show what is happening inside and around the tooth and its roots. They show decay, gum disease, abscesses, bone loss and teeth that haven’t come through yet.
Your dentist will only take x-rays when they are needed. Bitewing x-rays are taken every 2-3 years and are taken to show any decay that isn’t visible in the mouth, such as between the teeth. These x-rays show in between your premolar and molar teeth. A periapical x-ray is taken of a specific tooth or specific area of the mouth, if you are experiencing problems. This x-rays shows the whole of the tooth including the root. There are also large x-rays that are taken of your jaw and teeth. These are called panoramic or OPG x-rays and are taken to find teeth that haven’t come through, to look for wisdom teeth, or to look at the positioning of the teeth.
The radiation in dental x-rays is very low and will be discussed with you by your dentist.