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General Dentistry

Dental X-Rays

July 21, 2021

X-rays, also known as radiographs, are used in many different types of medical offices. In medical offices, x-rays are most often used to diagnose tumors and bone injuries. Dental clinics use this technology to look specifically at patients’ teeth. Dental x-rays are an essential part of dental care to help with diagnostics and preventive care for your teeth. Many oral issues can be prevented and taken care of early on because of x-ray technology!

3D Dental x-ray


What is an X-Ray?

X-rays are a form of electromagnetic radiation. X-rays use energy beams that can pass through most solid objects. X-ray imaging creates pictures of tissues, bones, organs, etc.inside your body.

Child x-ray


Are X-Rays Dangerous?

Some people are nervous about x-rays. However, you can rest assured that they are very safe for you and children. X-rays only have a tiny bit of radiation exposure, and is damage and pain-free. Standard safety precautions also take place to help limit you to unnecessary radiation and focus on one small area


During an x-ray, you are exposed to a low dose of radiation. However, during everyday activities, you are exposed to radiation more than you realize. This includes when you are in areas of high elevation and in an airplane or places that are high above sea level. Other sources of radiation come from consumer products such as cellphones, fluorescent lamps, computers, and even some glass. The current federal occupational limit of radiation exposure for a human is 5,000 millirems. One dental x-ray gives off about .5 millirem. Apple Tree Dental utilizes digital x-ray sensors which require even less radiation than traditional radiographs.

Reading a dental x-ray


Dental X-Rays

Dental x-rays are usually performed in a dental office by a dental specialist. 


Dental x-rays are used to…

-find cavities

-determine tooth root health

-determine if periodontal disease is an oral health issue

-determine the status of developing teeth

-monitor tooth health

-monitor previous dental work such as fillings or root canals


The process for making a radiograph of your teeth is simple. You will be given a small plastic holder to bite down onto to hold film into place for a second while an X-ray picture is taken of the targeted area.

Different Types of Dental X-Rays

There are two main types of dental x-rays: intraoral and extraoral. Intraoral are taken inside the mouth, and extraoral are taken outside of the mouth.

The most common types of dental x-rays include Periapical, Bite-Wing, Panoramic, Occlusal, and 3D.


Although there are several different types of dental x-rays, the patient will usually be covered by a lead apron to protect them from any unnecessary radiation. There is usually a small plastic apparatus to bite down onto to hold the mouth or film in place. The technician will then place the x-ray to take a picture of a small targeted area. Panoramic x-rays create a panoramic image of the patient’s whole mouth. 3D x-rays, as the name suggests, is a wonderful technology that allows the dentist to treat wisdom teeth, sleep apnea, or root canals with more information to guide the process. Using a 3D film, the dentist can even virtually plan the implant surgery before the actual treatment day to create a surgical guide that ensures proper placement and improves outcomes.

Dentist Near Me

If you are searching for the best dentist in the Rexburg area, Apple Tree Dental is the place! Whether you have a toothache, cavity, tooth decay, or have any questions, Apple tree Dental will take care of you (and your kids too)! Our team of dentists, dental hygienists, and assistants are caring and ready to help in any way we can. Click here to learn more about the services we offer!