A radiograph is a digital image created by an X-ray. Dentists follow careful guidelines as to when radiographs should be taken. Radiographs are a valuable diagnostic tool, giving dentists the ability to view internal structures of the mouth that are not visible in a physical examination.
Radiographs assist dentists with the following:
- Viewing cavities
- Measuring bone levels
- Assessing the health of bone
- Examining the dental pulp and roots of the teeth
- Inspecting and evaluating cysts or tumors in the mouth
- Calculating the extent of any damage caused by trauma
Dental radiographs provide essential information to dentists as they work to diagnose, treat and maintain the oral health of their patients. The amount of radiation exposure is too small to pose any major risk. Compared to traditional radiographs, digital imaging reduces exposure time by more than 50 percent. State-of-the-art digital imaging is also faster, safer and clearer than traditional radiographs, making them the preferred type of imaging test.
Because they are stored digitally, the images can be viewed on a computer, which makes an exact comparison of older and newer images possible. In addition, if needed, images can be delivered electronically to any specialists or insurance companies.
- Medline Plus
- National Institutes of Health
- National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
- U.S. National Library of Medicine