All you need to know about dental X-rays

We understand that many of our patients have questions and concerns about dental X-rays, their safety, frequency, cost, and how they might affect certain individuals, such as pregnant women. In this blog, we aim to answer most of the questions on these important aspects, helping you make informed decisions about your dental health!

What are dental X-rays?

Dental X-rays, also known as dental radiographs, are diagnostic images that provide a detailed view of your teeth, gums, and jawbone.

These images are invaluable tools that allow dentists to identify various dental conditions that may not be visible during a regular oral examination. They help detect issues like cavities, gum disease, infections, impacted teeth, and even bone loss.

By revealing these hidden problems, dental X-rays enable dentists to develop accurate treatment plans and address dental concerns in their early stages, ultimately promoting your oral health and well-being.

Are dental X-rays safe?

When it comes to dental X-rays, one of the most frequently asked questions is "Are dental X-rays safe?". The short answer is yes. Dental X-rays are considered a safe procedure and low-risk. They emit minimal radiation, and due to modern technology, the exposure is further reduced.

It's crucial to understand that the risks linked to dental X-rays are exceptionally minimal, and their advantages clearly outweigh any potential harm.

These X-rays play a vital role in enabling dentists to identify problems at their earliest stages, which, in turn, can avert more severe issues in the future. If you have any safety concerns, do not hesitate to ask your dentist. They can offer extra reassurance and alleviate any particular worries you may have.

How many dental X-rays are safe in a month?

Patients frequently inquire about how often they should have dental X-rays. The frequency of X-rays you need each month is determined by your specific dental requirements and overall oral health. For many people, annual X-rays are sufficient, but individuals with particular dental conditions might need them more often.

There are established guidelines for the frequency of X-rays, but your dentist will adjust their recommendations to suit your individual needs. The essential goal is to find the right balance between essential diagnostic imaging and limiting radiation exposure. It's always wise to have a discussion with your dentist to determine the most suitable X-ray schedule for your specific case.

Dental X-rays for pregnant women

Pregnant women often express concerns about dental X-rays. It's understandable, as they want to ensure their baby's safety. However, it's important to know that with proper shielding and modern X-ray equipment, the risk to the fetus is extremely low.

If you're pregnant or suspect you might be, inform your dentist. They will take the necessary precautions, such as using a lead apron to shield your abdomen. Dental emergencies should not be ignored during pregnancy, as they can affect both maternal and fetal health.

Dental X-ray cost

A frequently asked question pertains to the expense of dental X-rays. The cost may fluctuate due to several factors, such as your location and the type of X-rays required. Depending on the dental practice that you are choosing, the dental X-ray might be included in the price of certain appointments.

For example, here at Winchester Avenue Dental Surgery, our private dental emergency appointments (total cost of £53) also include X-rays.

When it comes to NHS prices, the 1st band (£25.80) covers X-rays.


Dental radiography stands as a safe and invaluable tool in the field of dentistry. It serves as the vanguard in the early detection of dental problems, ensuring the continued well-being of your oral health

We hope that this blog has provided comprehensive answers to your questions concerning the safety, frequency, costs, and common queries surrounding dental X-rays. If you seek further information or have any additional queries, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Your oral health is our priority, and we are at your service to aid in making the best decisions for your continued dental well-being.

Frequently asked questions - X-rays

Yes, dental X-rays are an essential diagnostic tool. They help us identify issues like cavities, gum disease, and impacted teeth that are not visible during a regular oral exam.

No, dental X-rays are painless. The process involves minimal discomfort, with the benefits of early problem detection far outweighing any minor inconvenience.

The short answer: it depends! The frequency of dental X-rays varies from patient to patient. Your dentist will determine the appropriate schedule based on your specific dental health needs.

While some alternatives, like 3D imaging, exist, traditional X-rays are still widely used for their reliability and cost-effectiveness.

Yes, children can have dental X-rays. Dentists often recommend them in order to monitor the development of primary and permanent teeth and to detect potential issues early.