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Diagnostic
Dental Radiographs (X-Rays)

Dental radiographs, also known as dental X-rays, are important diagnostic tools in dentistry.  Dental radiographs allow the dentist to see and treat problems like tooth decay, misalignment, bone injuries, and bone diseases before they worsen.  These issues would be difficult (in some cases impossible) to see with the naked eye during a clinical examination.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), American Dental Association (ADA), The California Dental Association (CDA) and other state dental associations and local dental societies approve dental radiographs and provide guidelines and recommendations for the use of dental radiographs for diagnostic purposes in adults, children and teenagers to diagnose disease process in the head and neck area. Radiographs only emit tiny amounts of radiation and are safe to use, the frequency for dental X-rays will depend on multiple factors including the individual needs of a patient, their risk for dental decay and periodontal disease and their general health condition. 

What are dental X-rays used for?

Dental x-rays are extremely versatile diagnostic tools.  Some of their main uses in pediatric dentistry include:

  • Assessing the amount of space available for incoming teeth.
  • Checking whether primary teeth are being shed in good time for adult teeth to emerge.
  • Evaluating the progression of bone disease.
  • Monitoring and diagnosing tooth decay.
  • Planning treatment
  • Revealing bone injuries, abscesses, and tumors, cysts.
  • Revealing impacted wisdom teeth or extra teeth.
  • Trauma to the face, jaw or teeth and other conditions

If you have questions or concerns about dental radiographs or X-rays, please contact our office at (415) 731-5104, or consult the national, state, or local dental societies.


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