Dental X-Rays

A Dental X-Ray is a Safe Diagnostic Tool

Dental X-Rays

We’re happy to take new dental patients, so if you’re looking for a local dentist, or if it’s just been a while since your last dental x-ray, give us a call at 207-856-6121.

Dental X-rays are an important diagnostic tool to help your dentist detect damage and disease that may not be apparent during a regular dental exam. X-rays are a type of picture of the teeth and mouth that show bone, teeth, tissue and fluids.

How frequently should I get a dental X-ray?

The frequency of dental X-rays depends on your dental health, your age, your disease risk and whether you show signs of oral disease. Children, for example, might need X-rays more often than adults because their teeth and jaws are still developing and are more likely to be affected by decay.

Will I need to have an X-ray done if I chose Main Street Dental as my dentist?

We’ll look at your history, check your mouth and then decide if a dental X-ray is appropriate. If you’re a new patient, we may recommend an X-ray just to learn the present state of your oral health. Over time, X-rays can indicate new cavities or changes to your gum health.

What kinds of X-rays does Main Street Dental use?

  • Bitewing: The patient bites on a paper tab containing film, and the image shows the crown portions of the top and bottom teeth together.
  • Periapical: This X-ray shows one or two complete teeth from crown to root.
  • Palatal (or occlusal): This captures all of the upper and lower teeth in one shot while the film rests on the biting surface of the teeth.
  • Panoramic: A panoramic X-ray requires a special machine that rotates around the head. The X-ray captures the entire jaws and teeth in one shot. It is used to plan treatment for dental implants, check for impacted wisdom teeth, and detect jaw problems.

A note about traditional and modern X-ray technologies: What should I know about traditional and modern  X-ray technologies? 

The X-rays using digital technology run through a computer and the amount of radiation transmitted during the procedure is less than traditional methods. Other types of dental X-rays can create a 3-D picture of the jaw. Cone beam computerized tomography (CBCT) may be used prior to dental surgery, especially when multiple implants are being placed.

A note about radiation emitted from dental X-ray devices: What should i know about the radiation emitted from dental X-ray devices? 

Dental X-ray exams are safe, however, they do require very low levels of radiation exposure, and the risk of potentially harmful effects is very small. Dental X-ray tools and techniques are designed to limit the body's exposure to radiation and every precaution is taken to ensure that radiation exposure is as low as reasonably achievable. A leaded apron minimizes exposure to the abdomen and should be used when any dental radiograph is taken. Also, a leaded thyroid collar can protect the thyroid from radiation, and should also be used whenever possible. The use of a leaded thyroid collar is recommended for women of childbearing age, pregnant women and children. If you are pregnant, tell your dentist. During your pregnancy, you may need to have X-rays taken as part of your treatment plan for a dental disease. Use of the leaded apron and thyroid collar will protect you and your fetus from radiation exposure. Dental X-rays do not need to be delayed if you are trying to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.