Dental X-rays in La Jolla, CA

There’s a lot that our La Jolla, CA dentist can see during your dental exam. But spaces inside of your teeth, around the roots, and between teeth aren’t visible to the naked eye. At Harmony Dental Group we use high-resolution, low-dose digital X-rays to ensure a thorough and accurate screening of your oral health and anatomy. Because without X-rays, common issues like bone loss or tooth decay can easily go undiagnosed.

Dental digital X-ray

Everyday healthy smiles

Keeping Track of Your Oral Health

Dental x-rays are an affordable, easy and fast way to help your dentist keep minor dental health problems from turning into bigger ones.

Benefits of Dental X-rays

Digital X-rays allow us to evaluate things like oral development, wisdom tooth positioning, impacted teeth, periodontal disease, tartar buildup, and small cavities that are still completely asymptomatic. As a result, our La Jolla dentist can provide early intervention care that’s minimally invasive and more proactive for your overall dental health. In turn, you get to enjoy fewer (and more affordable) treatments.

How Often Should I Get Dental X-rays?

There are various types of X-rays that our La Jolla dentist uses to evaluate your oral structures. Depending on your age, health history, and any specific issues at hand, we may recommend certain X-rays once a year, others on an as-needed basis, and some every 3-5 years.

Digital imaging is necessary to monitor concerns like:

  • Cavities
  • Crowding
  • Impacted teeth
  • Tooth pain
  • Decay
  • Abscesses
  • Tooth placement
  • Dental infections
  • Traumatic injuries

With X-rays, we’re able to identify early symptoms that are easier to treat early on, rather than waiting for them to evolve into complex oral health issues further on down the road. For example, early bone loss can be treated before aggressive periodontal disease leads to tooth loss. And small cavities can be treated with a small filling before a root canal and crown are required.

What to Expect

Today’s digital X-rays take only a short moment to capture, compared to traditional films that used to be processed in machines or dip chemicals. Not only is this better for the environment, it’s also safer for our patients! Digital imaging uses as much as 90% less radiation than conventional X-rays used a few decades ago.

Depending on the type of X-ray you’re having taken, you may bite down on a small appliance or have a special sensor that circles around your head.

Advances Dental X-Ray

Dental X-rays from Harmony Dental Group can help your dentist diagnose many dental problems, like cavities, cracked or damaged teeth, and bone deterioration, so you can receive the best treatment possible!

Types of Dental X-rays

Our La Jolla dentist uses specific types of X-rays for certain circumstances. Each one is different than the others and only used in specific scenarios or treatments, depending on your oral health needs. The most common types of X-rays that we take at Harmony Dental Group include:

  • Bitewing X-rays: Usually taken in sets of four or more, bitewing X-rays are specifically used to check for cavities between teeth (primarily the back molars.) Most people have bitewing X-rays taken once a year during their periodic dental exam and cleaning appointment.
  • Periapical X-rays: These X-rays show the entire length of the tooth including all of the bone structures around the root. Periapicals are needed when a tooth has been injured, there is a suspected abscess or nerve damage, or during root canal treatment.
  • Occlusal X-rays: Occlusal X-rays are typically used on smaller children to evaluate eruption patterns of their front teeth.
  • Panoramic X-rays: A panoramic film shows an entire overview of the oral anatomy, including jaw structures and sinuses. Panoramics are useful for mapping out dental implant therapy, evaluating wisdom teeth, during orthodontic evaluations, and intermittent analysis of the mouth as a whole. They are usually taken every 3-5 years or as needed.
  • FMX (Full Mouth Series): An FMX includes a combination of bitewings and periapicals of all teeth throughout the entire mouth. Most dentists use FMX series as a baseline reading to evaluate oral changes and perform first-time comprehensive exams. FMXs are typically updated every 3-5 years.
Dentist looking at dental X-Ray

At Harmony Dental Group, we provide the best in high-tech x-rays and imaging to our patients in La Jolla. Contact us to schedule an appointment or learn more about dental X-rays.

How Dentists Use X-rays

Dentists need X-rays to see inside, between, and around teeth for proper diagnostics and treatment recommendations. Without them, conditions like periodontal disease or abscesses would go undiagnosed. Earlier intervention ensures minimally-invasive treatments that are more cost-effective and better for your teeth. It also ensures the best treatment recommendations to keep your smile healthy in the decades ahead.

Are You Due for Dental X-rays in La Jolla?

Harmony Dental Group uses safe digital imaging technology to screen for and evaluate oral conditions affecting all ages. If you haven’t had dental X-rays taken in the last year or two, there could be infections or decay that you don’t know about. Call our La Jolla, CA dentist today to reserve your next appointment for updated dental X-rays.

Questions Answered on This Page

Related Topics

Frequently Asked Questions

Dental X-rays: Dental x-rays are a type of image of the teeth and mouth to help dentists diagnose damage and disease that is not visible during a clinical dental examination.

Tooth decay (dental caries): Tooth decay is the breakdown of teeth due to acids produced by bacteria.

Tartar: Tartar is a hard yellowish substance that forms on your teeth and causes them to decay if it is not removed.

Cavities: A cavity is a hole in a tooth that develops from tooth decay.

Abscess: A dental abscess is a build-up of pus in the teeth or gums caused by an infection.

Dentist: A dentist, also known as a dental surgeon, is a doctor who specializes in the patient’s teeth, gums, and mouth.

Happy patient after dental emergency

The Harmony Dental Group Experience

  • Flexible Appointment Times
  • Friendly and Caring Staff
  • Affordable Financing Options
  • Personalized Dental Services

Dental X-ray FAQ

Are dental X-rays safe?

Absolutely. Dental X-rays use extremely low levels of radiation, with digital versions using as much as 90% less than traditional X-rays. For example, most people are exposed to more radiation on a transcontinental flight or a day out on the beach than they are getting dental X-rays taken at their checkups. We also use lead aprons to cover reproductive organ tissues to prevent any risk of scatter radiation to cells that are most sensitive to them.

Why do staff members step outside the room when they take dental X-rays?

Even though dental X-rays are extremely safe, our staff is around radiography equipment five days a week. For safety purposes, they step outside the room each time they take X-rays on patients. This prevents cumulative radiation over the years or decades that they work in a dental office.

Can you perform treatment without taking a dental X-ray?

No. Without a dental X-ray of your tooth, our dentist cannot tell how deep an area of decay reaches down into your tooth structures. It would be impossible to differentiate between needing a filling or root canal.

My teeth don’t hurt. Why do I need an X-ray?

Tooth decay and abscesses don’t always hurt. It’s important to screen for infection before painful toothaches develop, when they’re simpler and less invasive to correct.

Why do you need to take X-rays if I already had them at the last appointment?

Not all X-rays are the same. For example, dentists can’t use bitewing X-rays to screen for abscesses or wisdom teeth, or use panoramic X-rays to check for cavities. Each one serves a specific role.

Hear From Our Patients

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I had been searching for a good dentist before I found this one. Best experience with this dental office. Professional and trustworthy!

Y Sun
5-Star Rating

I had an emergency – crown fell out and Dr. Farid saved the day. She was excellent and I would highly recommend this Dental Group

Carol Carlson
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Super friendly office with state of the art equipment that makes the process so much easier. I highly recommend!.

Kimberly Robinson

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The first step to a healthy mouth and the smile of your dreams

About our Dentistry

  • CA (License #12035). View License Information
  • Insurance: We work with most insurance providers including all PPO’s and Medicare
  • No Insurance? No problem call (858) 550-8000 for more information
  • Financing Options: We offer a wide range of dental financing options
  • We serve patients from the following counties: San Diego
  • We serve patients from the following cities: La Jolla, Pacific Beach, Del Mar, San Diego, University City and Clairmont
  • Have Questions?  Please feel free to contact us at (858) 550-8000

Helpful links: WebMD (Dental X-rays) | ADA (Glossary of Dental Terms)