Dental X-rays (radiographs) are images of your teeth that your dentist uses to evaluate your oral health. These X-rays are used with low levels of radiation to capture images of the interior of your teeth and gums. This can help your dentist to identify problems, like cavities, tooth decay, and impacted teeth. Dental X-rays are a useful diagnostic tool when helping your dentist detect damage and disease not visible during a regular dental exam. The frequency of getting X-rays of your teeth often depends on your medical and dental history and current condition. Some people may need X-rays as often as every six months; others with no recent dental or gum disease and who visit their dentist regularly may get X-rays only every couple of years.
Dental radiographs are commonly called X-rays. Dentists use radiographs for many reasons: to find hidden dental structures, malignant or benign masses, bone loss, and cavities. A radiographic image is formed by a controlled burst of X-ray radiation which penetrates oral structures at different levels, depending on varying anatomical densities, before striking the film or sensor. Teeth appear lighter because less radiation penetrates them to reach the film. Dental caries, infections and other changes in the bone density, and the periodontal ligament appear darker because X-rays readily penetrate these less dense structures. Dental restorations (fillings, crowns) may appear lighter or darker, depending on the density of the material.
Pulp vitality test is crucial in monitoring the state of health of dental pulp, especially after traumatic injuries. The traditional pulp testing methods such as thermal and electric pulp testing methods depend on the innervation and often yield false positive and negative response. The newer pulp testing device, some of which are still under development stage, detect the blood supply of the pulp, through light absorption and reflection, are considered to be more accurate and non-invasive.