Radiographic examination

Your dentist will examine your teeth for signs of decay. Your gums and soft structures in your mouth will be examined for signs of infection or disease. X-rays may be taken of your teeth, gums, and bones to provide more information about their structure and health.

Dental X-rays are a painless procedure. It simply entails that you gently bite down on a “bitewing” film placed on your teeth. X-rays do not hurt, but require that you remain motionless while the pictures are taken. Dental X-rays emit no more radiation than watching television or spending a day in the sun. As a precaution, a lead apron will be placed on your body. Women that are pregnant should inform their dentist. They should only receive X-rays for emergency situations.

In some cases, a dentist may take a panoramic radiograph. This type of X-ray shows a complete image of your upper and lower jaw in one picture. The image provides more information about your teeth alignment and bite pattern. A full-mouth series of radiographs (FMX) may also be taken.