Depending on the condition of a person’s oral health, dental X-rays may be required every few months or every few years. Children usually have X-rays taken more often as their teeth continue to grow and change, although a smaller number of X-rays may be required.
If you are getting an X-ray, the dental hygienist or assistant will be the one to operate the technology. You may have to wear a leaded apron or collar to help protect you from radiation exposure, and you’ll have to sit still for a short period of time. There are a few different types of dental X-rays you can get, including:
- Bitewings: The dental hygienist moves an X-ray film or plastic sensor around your mouth, asking you to bite down with your back teeth
- Periapicals: Produce pictures of the entire tooth and root
- Panoramic X-rays: An X-ray machine rotates around the head to take pictures of all the teeth
- Occlusal X-rays: Take pictures of the floor or roof of the mouth