Dental X-Rays – Are They Necessary?

A lot of times dental problems don’t have any critical signs or symptoms, so without any obvious pain or discomfort, it’s easy for us all to assume that nothing is wrong.

The reason for this is because a lot of crucial information is in areas like the bone underneath the gum and in-between the teeth – that’s where most dental problems start.

X-rays capture these areas and give us a lot of information we’d otherwise miss out on

This is important, as we need to be able to assess if there is anything suspicious going on before it gets to the more serious stages.

Most people have trouble cleaning between the teeth properly, and over time plaque builds up and becomes trapped. This can lead to a number of dental diseases such as gum infections, cavities and tooth decay. It’s in these areas between the teeth that most dental problems start to arise.

If you wait until the cavity gets big enough to get diagnosed clinically in the dentist’s chair, it is already very large.

Ideally we want to find cavities in their early stages when they are still small and simple to fix – this can only be done with X-rays.


How much radiation am I exposed to?

A common concern that we are asked about at Whitehorse Dental is whether the radiation level of X-rays are safe. In our experience as dental clinicians, the degree of radiation in dental X-rays are very low.

How low? Well, if you took a one hour flight from Melbourne to Sydney, you would experience the same level of radiation as you would from 3 dental X-rays!

At our dental clinic in Blackburn, we usually recommend two small dental x rays every two years. Even if you’ve come in for a teeth clean and there’s no signs of anything wrong, we will often take an X-ray to screen for early signs of dental disease.

During your routine check up and clean, we use digital x rays to ensure the radiation dose is as low as possible.  There is also the added benefit that the images are ready immediately and we don’t need to use chemicals that are harmful to the environment to process films.  

Feel like it’s time for a dental check? Give our friendly staff at Whitehorse Dental in Blackburn a call. We’d love to hear from you.