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Child with all baby teeth Occlusal x-rays
Child with mixed dentition (baby and adult teeth present) Bitewing x-rays and Panoramic x-ray

X-rays, also known as radiographs, are an essential part of any dental care treatment plan. They are diagnostic, but they can also be preventative, by helping a dentist diagnose potential oral care issues in a patient’s mouth before they become a major problem. An x-ray is a type of energy that passes through soft tissues and is absorbed by dense tissue. Teeth and bone are very dense, so they absorb X-rays, while X-rays pass more easily through gums and cheeks.
X-rays are divided into two main categories, intraoral and extraoral. Intraoral is an X-ray that is taken inside the mouth. An extraoral X-ray is taken outside of the mouth.

Intraoral X-rays are the most common type of radiograph taken in dentistry. They give a high level of detail of the tooth, bone and supporting tissues of the mouth. These X-rays allow dentists to:

  • Find cavities

  • Look at the tooth roots

  • Check the health of the bony area around the tooth

  • Determine if periodontal disease is an oral care issue

  • See the status of developing teeth

  • Otherwise, monitor good tooth health through prevention


Dr. Amy understands your concern with exposing your child to x-rays. Therefore, she will only take x-rays that are necessary to provide your child with the best clinical care. Our state of the art digital x-ray equipment allows us to obtain the best diagnostic images while using the smallest amount of radiation possible. Digital radiography has decreased the amount of radiation exposure by 90% compared to standard x-ray film.

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