Digital X-Rays

Dr. Santoro uses the highest quality digital X-rays that dentistry offers. There is extremely low radiation associated with these X-rays. An X-ray is an extremely useful diagnostic tool that helps dentists take care of your teeth and prevent dental disease and damage. X-rays provide a look at the inside of your teeth and at the structures that hold the teeth in place, revealing areas that the naked eye cannot see during a visual exam. They allow dentists like Dr. Jennifer Santoro to identify diseases and damage early, when these problems are more easily treated. Early intervention is key to avoiding invasive, costly and unnecessary treatment down the line.

What X-Rays Are Used For

An X-ray is a type of energy that passes through soft tissues, like the gums and cheeks, and is absorbed by the dense tissue of the teeth and jawbone. An intraoral X-ray is taken inside the mouth and an extraoral X-ray is taken outside the mouth.

Digital dental X-rays are very safe and use very small amounts of radiation. The risk of problems from the small amount of radiation is extremely low.

X-rays are used to look for the following:

  • Cavities between the teeth
  • Problems with the tooth roots
  • Problems with the bone around the tooth (e.g., bone loss)
  • Problems with developing teeth (e.g., wisdom teeth)
  • Periodontal disease
  • Abscesses
  • Cysts and tumors

X-rays can also be used for planning purposes. For example, they can help in the process of planning the placement of dental implant posts into the jawbone. Without the information provided by the X-rays, dentists and oral surgeons risk placing implant posts in weak or deteriorated jawbone, which leads to implant failure.

The Process of Taking X-Rays

X-rays are taken in Dr. Santoro’s office. Dr. Santoro uses digital X-rays, which are more convenient to take, and use much less radiation exposure than traditional X-rays.

A leaded apron that covers the abdomen with a thyroid collar is usually recommended for children, women of childbearing age and expecting mothers to protect them from radiation. After the apron has been placed, a member of our team will insert a small plastic piece into your mouth that holds the X-ray film in place. You will be asked to bite down on the piece, and the X-ray will be taken of the targeted area. Several images will be taken until your entire mouth has been X-rayed.

How often X-rays are taken depends on your age, your oral health status, any symptoms you are currently experiencing and whether you are at an increased risk of certain dental problems. Generally, children have X-rays taken more frequently because their teeth and jawbone are still growing and developing. Also, new patients of Dr. Santoro typically have a full series of X-rays taken at their first visit so our team can get an understanding of your oral health status and establish a baseline that helps make it easier to identify later changes.

Learn More about Dental X-Rays

If you have any questions about how X-rays are performed or used at our practice, please feel free to reach out. You can call our office at or send us an email today.